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Full text of "Letters from heaven consulted"

JSJ '11-' <■!!: 



HILLSBOROUGH, 





HI 



We are highly favoured with letters sent 
from heaven, even to the christian churches, 
to enlighten the world. They came from the 
seven Spirits, and the glorious person of our 
exalted King, the Lord Jesus, the faithful Wit- 
ness, and true God! Be re is wisdom; let him 
that readeth try to understand. 

These letters are recorded or bound in. 
heaven, as also on earth. They are never to 
suffer any change or revolution to the end of 
the world: wo to him that addeth thereto, or 
taketh ought therefrom! The sacred word is 
so fix d, and so well calculated by divine wis» 
dom. (hat it completely serves for all nations * 
and successive generations, till time shall be 
no more. Divine wisdom saw from the begin- 
ning how every nation and successive genera- 
tion would proceed; yea. all the revolutions, 
customs, manners, divisions, subdivisions. <ll 
were foreseen; for the Lord foresees whatso- 
ever cometh to pass, both good and evil, but 
decrees nothing but what is just, right and 
good. He seeth through all tittle and ti ne- 
thirigs. He suffers men to do wrong as far as 



ir 

his wisdom will let, but no farther: and all this 
is exactly right according to circumstances 
and cases. He views through the divisibility 
of matter, and weighs all in equal scales. He 
suffers men to do wrong, as he did Adam; but 
Adam was justly punished, and so shall other 
rebels be. Here are national sins and practical 
wickedness amongst us; it is surely suffered 
for a while : but for all these things Crod will 
bring us into judgtnent, as these divine letters 
declare. But the word, even the royal stand- 
ard, is set up for the churches and the people. 
The confused churches must rally under this 
standard before fhey will be primitive: for by 
this standard must we be judged at the last 
day. Therefore we will try to understand these 
precious letters, beginning at the first chapter 
of Paul's epistle, to the Romans. 



CONSULTED. 



ROMANS. 

CHAPTERS I, II. 

Paul declares himself to be a servant of Jesus Christ, 
called by him, separated as an apostle unto the gospel of 
God. Notice the speech. He writes to the saints, then in 
Home, and to all saints, beloved of God, whose faith was 
spoken of abroad. Can faith be seen? Yes, by good works. 
He writes of a people, whp, through vain philosophy, flesh- 
1> lusts and the devil, had fallen away below human, to bru- 
tality; professing themselves to be exceeding wise, they be- 
came fools! 

The wise men of Greece and Rome, deemed Paul a bab- 
bler, a preacher of foolishness. Surely he would be asham- 
ed to promulgate such doctrine in the great city of Rome! 
Paul boldly testifies, saying, I am not ashamed of the gos- 
pel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to 
the humble believer. Reader, notice — he calls it the gospel 
of God; and then he calls it the gospel of Christ, and the 
power of God, in delivering the sinner from the law of sin 
and death. » 

People who can see sin in others, and yet live in sin 
themselves, are inexcusable; for by condemning others they 
prove how they rebel agaiust the light — as thousands now 
do. Men who are favoured with the gospel, have an advan- 
tage superior to that of dark nations; yet all are without 
excuse, for all have some light, and the true light; and if 
men improve that light, it can make a very gracious change 
in their souls, for ihat light is from the Saviour. 



6 



Let us now carefully attend to the doctrine of the rich 
grace oi God in bearing with sinners, who sin the more be- 
cause the Lord delays execution! Thus they despise the 
riches of his grace, and go on in sin, whereby they offend 
the law, which worketh wrath; and despising the gracious 
offers, they are said to be heaping up wrath against the 
great day of his wrath, when flames of fire shall try the 
feelings of miserable souls! Can this long forbearance be 
towards those who are said, by the clergy, to be the fixed 
elect number; or the non-elect, called reprobates? I have 
just stated the question; the reader may work it: and if you 
bring it out partial election and reprobation, then why is it 
said, they are without excuse? 

CHAPTERS III, IV, V. 

In a wonderful display of heavenly wisdom, our apostle 
proves the doctrine of justification by faith, and our situ- 
ation in a natural state, in the third, fourth and fifth chap- 
ters. The law declares that none are righteous, not a just 
man upon earth; and by the deeds of the law no man can 
be justified: for the Levitical law was too weak; and the mo- 
ral law is too strong* for it cannot put up with the smallest 
failure! Now then, if ever a sinner stands justified before 
God, it must be by the way of grace and faith, acc ording to 
gospel order. Reader, follow me close, as 1 try to follow 
Paul, chapter iii. 23, &c. As all have sinned, being justifi- 
ed freely by his grace, which produceth faith, through the 
redemption 1 hat is in Jesus; that is to say, through faith in 
his blood. This gracious method of our justification is well 
authenticated, or witnessed, by the ceremonial law, the 
types, the high-priests, the bleeding sacrifices; as also tore- 
told by the prophets. After a penitent believer is thus jus- 
tified, he is deemed righteous before God; and here stands 
a long disputed point among preachers and authors. A 
thousand, perhaps, among the letter learned say, that the 
righteousness of a believer is not his, only as it is imputed 
his; but it is the very persona! righteousness of the L >rd 
Jesus imputed to the man or woman. For so it is written, 
"To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins 
that, are past, that he might bf just, and the justifier of him 
that believes on Jesus." Th* interpretation a\ pVars to be 
this: that God is magnifying his own righteous conduct, in 



justifying one whom be had before justly condemned; but 
as soon as the creature believes with his heart, he is exo- 
nerated from the curse. £>ee chapter iv. What shall we 
say? How was our father Abraham justified? This, might 
decide the dispute. God had revealed to Abraham, about 
nineteen hundred years before Christ's personal appear- 
ance, the very things that are now reported unto us by the 
gospel; how the^ Saviour was to come, and how sinners 
should be justified. Abraham saw it by faith, and rejoiced. 
Now then, Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto 
him for righteousness. The dispute turns on this point; this 
little kind of a neutral pronoun, it, II it means the righte- 
ousness of Christ, the. author is quite ignorant; but if it 
signifies the 'man's faith imputed for righteousness, then 
we are enlightened. Christ's internal righteousness was 
the absolute perfection of the Father — his God-head; and 
as touching his pe rsonal conduct, it was a law, righteous- 
ness to perfection. Reader, look at the 5th verse; there it 
is spoken in plain terms, saying, «*■ This faith is counted for 
righteousness." A created being could no more bear the 
righteousness of God, than a man could bear the weight of 
this ponderous globe. To suppose the great Fai her doth im- 
pute the righteousness of Jesus to a man, is to separate God 
and his Christ; which is a destructive idea. If anv one had 
the righteousness of Christ counted his, he could stand in no 
need of intercession. But some people will have it so! 

CHAPTER Vf. 

The introduction is, What shall we say then? If we ar© 
saved by grace and not works, shall we continue in sin 
that grace, may abound? God forbid! Our baptism into 
Christ, or Christianity, solemnly binds us to a life of holy 
obedience to the gospel of God. As circumcision bound the 
Jews and their proselytes to obey the law, which, if they 
did not fulfil, their circumcision was of n » profit: so it is 
by baptism. Jesus died unto sm; so do christians die with 
Christ to sin and the oM Levitical law. As a death unto 
sin is essential, so is a life unto righteousness. This death 
is called a crucifixion, the old man is crucified. « I am cruci- 
fied with Christ," So also we are buried with Christ; yet not 
personally in the water, as those who die on sea; nor does 
it signify being personally buried in the earth, nor in the 



8 



pock: these are. figurative phrases. To be risen with Christ 
is alsfo a spiritual resurrection. All this the converts in the 
beginning were taught, and in that faith they were bap- 
tized water unto Christ; as those alive from the dead, 
they were to walk as new people. Reader, notice the 14th 
verse, saying, Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye 
are not under the law, but under grace, If my reader be a 
stranger to conversion, then art thou un^er the law, and of 
course under the dominion of sin, and therefore under the 
curse! But if thou be a professor, know thou, that a man 
cannot be a saint and a sinner at the same time! You may 
yield to sin, but sin cannot force a christian; you may give 
place to the devil, but if you resist him in Jesus's name, he 
flies! Look forward to the succeeding chapter and you will 
see more. 

CHAPTER VI L 

This section follows in regular succession, as corre- 
sponding with the one before, but is much mope mysteri- 
ous. Reader, try and get your mind passive, for the views 
before us relative to the contents of this chapter will differ 
from the opinion of many of our religious friends. 

It is supposed by men of information, that this chapter 
is intended to designate the character of Paul, the holy 
apostle and christian. It cannot he. Inspired Paul wrote 
many solemn truths, hard for weak minds to understand. 
May the Lord give us light! Notice, let us take hold of the 
first link of the chain, and carefully follow on. First: To 
whom in particular is this subject addressed? To those 
who know the law. After gaining their attention, he pro- 
ceeds by way of similitude, saying, The law hath dominion 
over a man so long as he liveth: so a woman is bound by 
the law of her husband, so long as he liveth; but if her bus- 
baud die, she is free from his law, and bath a right to mar- 
ry another man. Reader, can you see what the ingenious 
apostle is aiming at? Christians, ye are become dead to the 
old law, the church's old husband; that is now dead, and 
you are dead to the kw; shadows are reflected, and the sub- 
stance is come, i You are married to Christy who lives for 
-ever; he is your hea ; d and lawgiver, and you must be c ailed 
by his name. Reader, keep up. Again, Paul told the Jewish 
converts, putting himself in also/ how they felt when Hlu- 



9 



'minated, what a fight of affliction they passed through be- 
fore they were ingrafted into Christ. The Levitical law was 
too weak to clear the conscience; and the moral law was 
too strong to allow the least failing, but held the sinner as 
it were by the throat, saying, pay me what thou owest! This 
Paul had felt as well as others; a debtor and criminal, in the 
gall of bitterness and bonds of Lmquity. These agonies are 
f&lt in regeneration, when passing from death to life, vio- 
lently pressing through the narrow gate. No legal sacrifices 
can avail. Grace having changed the heart, the soul longs 
for rest; but so long as we depend on any thing to deliver 
except Christ, there we lie; so long as we are unborn, we are 
in the flesh, not in the spirit, sin reigns. A will to please G#d 3 
but being under the law, the awakened soul cries out, when 
I would do good, here is evil; in the eye of the law I am 
constantly sinning, for sisi has dittni-nion over all people 
until they are translated, it is no more me, i. e. my inward 
man, not my will nor desire, but unsubdued lust that dwei- 
let h in me and holds me captive. Being utterly unable to 
break his bonds, he vehemently exclaims and cries for help, 
saying, wretched man thus I am! who shall deliver me 
from the body of this death? This is called the body of sin, 
chap, vi. This is the old inun, that must be crucified with 
its lusts. Light begins to break into the soul; he thanks 
God a way is made through Jesus Christ, th'at he discovers 
help at hand. Here the travelling soul is delivered^ and 
the next chapter tells the believer's experience. 

CHAPTERS VIII, IX. 

The pure doctrine runs thus: There is no condemnation 
to the soul in Christ Jesus, who walks not after the flesh, 
but after the spirit. There was a great difference in the t x- 
perience of a pious Jew under the old law, where there was 
a remembrance of sin once a year; therefore none were 
saved by legal sacrifices nor Jewish rites, no, nor external 
moral performances; but- by the law of the spirit ot life;, 
which is in Christ Jesus. Now the christian experience' is, 
to be translated into a marvellous light, and feel Christ in 
him the hope of glory ! This divine law of spirit and power, 
is the way the Lord justifies the humble soul, according to 
his own purpose, not man's. 

As the eighth and ninth chapters treat largely on very 

B 



♦ 



iQ 



mysterious and interesting subjects, we may work on them 
borh together. 

Mv reader will find a mystery in the eighth chapter, to* 
which I solicit his attention. Verse 9, &c. *,* It' so be the 
spirit oi God dwell in you." ♦< If any man have not the 
spirit of Christ, he is none of his." « If Christ be in you, — 
the spirit is life, because of righteousness." ** if the spirit 
of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he 
that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your 
mortal bodies by fits spirit that dwelleth in you." The let- 
ter coming from above, we are bound to believe it; and so 
long as we do believe it we can never be Arians. « As 
many as are kd by the spirit of God, they are the sons of 
God/' John x. «* My sheep hear my voice and follow me, 
and I give unto them eternal life." *» All the Father hath 
are inine." 

Verse 17. Here stands an exceeding promise; but the 
condition is/ if we suffer with him, we shall reign with 

hinV ';; : v V^Vi, 1 "-''-. ■,* ' \ '-i^MlMm^ '■ ■ / ' • 

Attend to the following mystery: The creature was made 
subject to vanity, not willingfv, but by reason of him who 
hajh subjected the same in hope. I bis creature is possess- 
ed of an earnest expectation, waiting for the manifestation 
of the sons of God; because the creature itself shall be de- 
livered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious 
liberty of the children of Go«i! The whole world is in tra- 
vail. So do we, ho have the comforts of the spirit; we 
wait tor the redemption of our body. O for a light from 
the Lord! Man is parr animal and part immortal; the bru- 
tal creatures are only animal, but all feel the sad effects of 
the fall. The inspired man of God viewed the state of 
things at the time he wrote, and foresaw many things that 
might .follow. The creature, the human family, are subject- 
ed to»a life of toil, trouble, sickness and death; yet have an 
impression called hope, or expectation of deliverance some 
way, or the world would be in desperation. The Lord 
spared the world for the thousands that would be born, and 
born again, that otherwise never would have been: \and as 
life is desirable, all should live, and have an equal oppor- 
tunity of happiness. They are not willing subjects to God 
naturally, but rather at enmity; yet sinners are obliged to 
be subject to providence, affliction and death. This is eat- 
ing of tbe fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil 



s Jk. 



nil our days. Had the Lord given the fallen family all gooo 
things here of earthly co ml orts, they w »uld have been as 
Dives, had their good things h 're, and hell hereafter; and 
it' all were evil, who could iiv» ? 

The Je ws were hoping for a Saviour, to deliver them from 
their enemies; the heathen oppressed nations, and slaves 
were .groaning under oppressive men and devils; the phi- 
losophers were comforting the pour wretches with fields of 
carnal delight after death; moreover, there was a general 
expectation of a deliverer Irom present evil, of one called 
«* the desire of all nations.*' When it speaks of the whole 
creation groaning in travail and pain, until now; this is the 
travail that man and beast have to pass through in this un- 
even world. The righteous are not so pure as to need no chas- 
tisement. One great deliverance shall he when the crown 
falls from the despot's head; when the white surplice, the 
black gown, the three-cornered caps, are all out of fashion/ 
and the reverend clergy become the humble presbyters; it 
will effect such a change in church and state, that it may be 
Called « a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelieth 
righteousness." But at the general resurrection, when the 
creature is redeemed from corruption; when this ponderous 
earth and seas disburthen themselves* and the groans of 
brutes be heard no more; the holy Lord shall gather up 
his jewels, after purging his church — and where will the 
sinners appear? 

Now comes on the doctrine of foreknowledge, predesti- 
nation, the called, the justified, the gloriiied—saying. What 
shall we say to these things? Those gentlemen who are 
styled the reverend learned clergy, they and their church- 
es* are taught and do teach their thousands of like faith, 
to consider themselves part of thai select favoured number, 
It appears to us who can only sp^ak broken English, 
that the apostle was writing a history respecting the rise 
and fall of the Jews, as a warning to the Gentile churches. 
For further proof I refer my reader to the tenth chapter of 
the epistle to the Corinthians. For an amicable settlement 
of this long dispute, men who can read our English Bible 
may trace the subject, and reduce it to a certainty who those 
favoured elect people were. We may begin at the fall in 
Paradise, when the blessed seed was promised, and the 
virgin Mary predestinated. Before the flood, Cain and 
Abel in their families were greatly divided. The Lord kept 



♦ 



12 



a chosen line of holy men in succession, fn guard the sa?- 
cred worship of the true God against Satan and his idola- 
trous worshippers. Those chosen men were such as Abel* 
Enoch, Noah. &c. After the flood, Shem was chosen, ac- 
cording to foreknowledge, rather than Japhet or Ham, 
whose posterity were idolaters. In process of time God 
those Abram according to foreknowledge; with him he co- 
venanted, and made him the father of a great family. The 
next was the beloved Isaac. Isaac married Rebecca, and 
she had twin sons, Esau and Jacob. But foreknowledge 
elected Jacob to stand in the royal line: for Esau's poste- 
rity became bitter enemies to the people of God. Moreover, 
Esau and Jacob formed an allegory of the two dispensa- 
tions. And it came to pass that Jacob had twelve sous born 
unto him, and they became great men, even patriarchs. 
These were all elected, and established in twelve tribes. 
From these twelve tribes came the great elect nation, the 
Jews. This nation was to be a holy people, conformed to 
the image of the holy Son of God; who according to the 
flesh 'Was a Jew, and srood as the first born among many 
brethren, who takes the government on his shoulder. To 
this llustriuus nation pertained the adoption, the glory, the 
giving of the law; and of whom, concerning the flesh, Christ 
came, who is over all God, blessed for ever. Amen. 

This nation was predestinated for great and wise pur- 
poses; they were called out of Egypt, were all baptized 
unto Moses in the sea and cloud, all drank of the spiritual 
fork; but by # disobedience and unbelief, all did not obtain 
that promised rest. Nothing but sin can separate between 1 
God and the soul. Our Calvinist brethren consider them- 
selves of the elect family, according to Romans; whereas 
the author considers that they have no lot nor part in the 
history. For behold, when we trace their pedigree, and in- 
quire what tribe they are of, the secret is, they are the off- 
spring o Japbet! the Gentiles, as they were called after 
this! The Jews were predestinarians, considering them- 
selves as the only elect of God. But the Almighty would 
let them know that he would have mercy on whom he saw 
fit; and that he would harden such as Pharaoh, who would 
first resist the gracious .mpressions. He kept Pharaoh alive 
after his day of grace w as passed, to nwke an example of him 
at the sea, to terrify the nations and encourage his people. 



-13 



CHAPTER X. 

There is no great difficult) in understanding our apos- 
tle in (-his section. Observe how Paul lamented die situa- 
tion of the obstinate Jews, whose zt al was not according to 
knowledge; boasting of their family and performances, 
when G'»d put no difference between Jews and Gentiles, 
for the same Lord is rich unto all who call upon him; for 
the promise is, that whosoever shall call oti the name of the 
Lord, shall be saved. 

But shall those pray to this Lord Christ in whom they 
do not believe? how shall they believe in a name they ne- 
ver heard/ and how can the) hear unless the Lord should 
send tbein preachers? O how we are favoured; if we die 
in unbelief, nations buried in darkness* will rise in judgment 
against us! Dark nations will not be damned because they 
did not believe on the blessed name of Jesus, but for neg* 
leering the li^hr he gave them, and that light was Christ. 
But to Israel the Lord saith, A.11 the day long have I stretch- 
ed out my hands of mercv to a disobedient and gainsaying 
peopte. 

The apostle's sorrow for his nation was so great, that he 
could even wish to be cut off, so they could be grafted in; 
to be deprived of membership in the church of God, which 
by the Jews was deemed a curse! 

Here is an excellent apostolic faith of christian expert 
ence, viz. <* For with the heart man believeth unto righte- 
ousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salva- 
tion." Reader is it so with you? 

Verse 17. Notice how faith cometh — by hearing the 
word of God. Friend, dost thou know this by a happy ex- 
perience? i 

CHAPTER XL 

In consulting this chapter, it will be necessary to observe 
four particular points. First, The apostle observed that 
God had not cast away all his elect whom he foreknew, but 
a remnant were saved by grace through faith. Secondly, 
*rhat the Jews seemed to open a door for the G«ntiles, who 
also were foreknown: and when the fullness of the Gentiles 
are brought in, it will awaken and provoke the Jews to 



14 

emulation; the vail will be taken away as their hearts turn 
to the Lord. When this rometh 5o pass, what will it be but 
life from the dead? The offended elder brother comes in, 
embraces his younger brother; all is sweet union* feeding 
on the fatted calf. Thirdly. The following is a solemn cau- 
tion to the {^entile churches, when beholding the severity 
of God upon the Jews, his goodness towards the Gentiles, 
who by faith were elected and engrafted into Christ, and 
the old stock, partaking of the root and fatness. Now then 
let the Gentile churches be humble, if we grow proud, or 

* high-minded, to think our election sure before we finish our 
race; i f God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest 
he spare not thee, but cut thee off! Notwithstanding these 

' heavenly warnings, the cry is, M Ye cannot fall." Fourth- 
ly, Paul takes a view of what was revealed to htm, and 
deeper things out of sight yet to come; but all God's works 
though mysterious are just and right. He exclaims, saying, 
O the depth of the riches both of she wisdom and knowledge 
of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways 
past finding out! 

CHAPTERS XH, XIII. 

Wonderful condescension ! the Lord and Master be- 
seeches his servants, and by the weight of his mercies, to 
follow his instructions, be sanctified and eternally saved! 
The ways and means laid down by his holy apostle are, 
first, after giving God your heart, then offer your active 
body, a living sacrifice; which is reasonable service, con- 
sidering the love of Christ, who gave up his holy body to 
the most painful and shameful death, a sacrifice for sins 
not his own! Secondly, we are charged not to conform to 
the customs, modes and^'ashions of the people of this pol- 
luted world, but quite the reverse— topsy-turvy! Thirdly, 
By so doing in faith, you will happily prove what the depth 
of Christian perfection is. Paul also teaches christians to 
be sweetly connected in one man; not self-conceited, not 
high-minded; never render evil for evil, but good, and that 
will melt the feelings of an enemy as coals of fire. 



15 



chapters xm, XIV, XV, XVL 

There appear to be no great difficulties in these chap* 
ters; a few observations may suffice. 

First, The great King commands his people to be sub- 
ject to the civil authority, for divine authority appointed it 
so to he. Magistrates bear the civil sword, to punish evil 
doers and protect those who do well. 

In the fourteenth chapter, the church is directed to re- 
ceive into her bosom humble desirous souls, though weak 
in faith, either under care or cure. People in those days 
had notions and difficulties to surmount before they were 
well established in the gospel order, as it reads: and so it 
may be now in other cases, before some desirous people 
can be fully persuaded to the scripture institution of the 
christian church The same thread of discourse extends 
to the fifteenth chapter, where it. is written, that such as are 
strong must bear the infirmities of the weak. 

The sequel of this epistle is precious reading, but is not 
hard to be understood. The 17tB verse of the last chapter 
should be particularly observed. If any man causes schisms 
or divisions, by doctrine contrary to the pure doctrine, dis- 
own him. Racers run for a prize, but the prize is never 
won until the runner comes through, that is, finishes his 
course. 



I. CORINTHIANS. 

CHAPTERS I, II, III. 

THIS idolatrous city appeared to have been under the 
dominion of Satan; but the pure gospel and the power of 
God, even by the law of the spirit of life which is in Christ 
Jesus, freed many of their captivated souls, and translated 
them into the kingdom of God and Christ. A glorious 
church was erected on the sure foundation. After Satan 
found himself thus defeated, he studied the following stra- 
tagem, to act on some souls, partly carnal, and break their 
union, and it was so; some were for Paul* some for Apol- 



16 



los, &c. The apostle heard of it, and wrote what is already 
written. Paid did not utterly condemn; but charged them 
with being parity carnal, and walked like men; or at best, 
were men 1 babes for weakness. Friendly reader, mark the 
order oi ministers in christian times. W hether Paul, or ApuK 
los, or Cephas, all are yours, said Paul; we don't decide. 
AH the ministers were workers together with God, in any 
and every church, speaking as out of one mouth, teaching 
as the Lord commanded. Satan might have had this in 
view T » to destroj the christian union, and get the preachers 
idolized. Thus it was that Paul, thanked God he had bap- 
tized but two men, and one family or household, lest it 
should be said, ** I baptized in -mine own name."- For when 
the Lord called Paul to be an apostle, he charged him to 
observe the Lord's supper; but., made no mention of water 
baptism, for that was directed before in the great commis- 
sion, saying. Go je out into all the world, teach, preach, 
.baptize in the new order, disciple them, I hen teach my 
law s. Paul knew it was an established ordinance; but if it 
divided, it was not suitable to that confused people at that 
time. Paul's great call v as to preach the gospel, &c. The 
churches were greatly disturbed by half Jews, and philoso- 
phers. The Jews required a sign; tire learned Greeks sought 
after worldly wisdom. The apostle observed, that though 
their wisdom discovered many wonders in God's creation, 
but never could arrive to the knowledge of God; but those 
who believed the gospel, foumi it to be the wisdom of God, 
and the power of God, to their soul s salvation. You see 
your calling, brethren, thai not many of these learned 
Greeks, nor those prudent noble Jews, are called to the 
ministry; but Christ is made onto us wisdom, and righte- 
ousness, sanctification and redemption. This chain of doc- 
trine is not accounted yours by imputation, but your whole 
redemption is by and from Christ. 

In the second chapter, there are four particulars w hich 
will be noticed. First, Paul, though a learned philosopher 
and a wise Hebrew, yet was predetermined to hpld no use- 
less speculative disputes, but hold up the doctrine of Jesus, 
the true Messiah, who was crucified for the sins or the 
people. 

Secondly, The apostle shows the wisdom he prearbes, 
and teaches to experienced christians the wise plan of re- 
demption, how the soul grows in grace, and a greater de- 



gree of the knowledge of God in Christ, fight, life and love> 
till sanctified in a greater degree, and preparing.theuiselves 
for heaven. 

Thirdly. Here the apostle drops a sentence, enough to 
make the heart of a sincere christian leap for joy. What, 
no eye ever saw in the highest revelation, nor ear ever 
heard reported under heaven, nor heart ever conceived la 
the deepest contemplation, what precious things God hath 
laid up for those who love him! O, my reader, can you Tor- 
bear loving and serving such a master as the Lord Jesus? 

Fourthly, The natural man is the unconverted man, and 
may study until death, but never he able to understand the 
things that make for his p$ace; by reason, the religion of 
Jesus is revealed religion. 

Here stands a solemn charge to ministers to be humble, 
not puffed up with spiritual pride, in thinking, and* being 
one more gifted than the other, and therefore must expect 
pre-eminence. But who made thee to differ? or what hast 
thou that thou didst not receive? This is the unclean epis- 
copal spirit^ therefore not of GM, 

CHAPTERS V, VI. 

Here is an apostolic charge to the church of Christ, to 
expel wicked people from her body. Did the apostle^Large 
the church, or her pastor, or bishop? The answer is rea- 
dy; it was the body, or church collectively. Paul the apos- 
tle did not exercise the power of an inferior kind of bishops, 
who could send a bull and expel any man, « though five hun- 
dred miles distant." The apostle directed that a church col- 
lectively, with her teachers (if any at hand), should judge. 
Where there are church courts, one above another^ to try 
an offending brother as a state criminal, having no scrip- 
ture authority, it designates that church to be a creature of 
the state. Moreover, ministers should not be a distinct bo- 
dy to themselves*over the church, and make their own laws, 
&c. but all should be members one of another in the body, 
and subject to one Lord, as it was in scripture times. Read 
the orders. Ib the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, when ye 
art gathered together, with due divine authority, to„ deliver 
such a one to Satan, that is, to put him back to Satan's 
territories, among the wicked. Moreover, in the apostles' 
days, such as brought scandal on the church, and were 



justly expelled; if they were not given over by the Lord, 
they were frequently afflicted * ith bodily disease?, that 
ifeshly lust might feel its just punishment. What have I to 
do (said Paul) with them that are without? do not ye judge 
them that are .within? Them that are without God judgeth. 
Let civil people, even decent hearers, who utterly refuse to 
Gome under Christ's discipline, look at the word and exa- 
mine its contents, viss. them that are without, God judgeth! 
See* Ifow far churches have wandered from divine orders, 
and do need a reform, a return to primitive purity. Ah! 
that is a true minister of God, who will sacrifice rectory to 
principle. This dreadful'apnstacy from the, divine order, 
'can never be too much lament*, d. These human inventions 
compose part of the hay, wood and stubble that the walls 
oi Zion are partly buiit oi, that will go wivh the chaff into 
unquenchable fire. But the pure word abidetb for ever. 

In looking over the sixih chapter, it appears that saints 
will judge men and angels. This seems to be a hard saying 
to be understood. May it not be construed after the follow- 
ing manner: After the Judge opens the books, or the given 
word, b) the spirit and by the letter, under every dispen- 
sation, people, time, and times, privileges and opportuni- 
ties, the whole of all our conduct brought to light, with 
every secret thought and intention, all judged agreeably to 
every divine attribute, and sentence passed by the Judge, 
the saints vv ill see and judge it so correct, they may utter 
their approbation with a loud amen, saying, True and 
righteous are thy judgments, O Lord! As for the wicked, 
they feel the sentence just, but their mouths will be stopped 
by guilt. The way of the fallen iHigels, their horrid rebel- 
lion, and their just damnation,, all will be illustrated as 
clear as noon* God will vindicate his justice, and display 
the riches of his grace. 

As saints will jmige and approve of their Lord's proceed- 
ings, surely they may judge small matters among their 
brethren; and not go to law before irifidais, which thing is 
reproachful; better suffer some loss: what! /those infidels, 
so little esteemed by you, though /nagistrates; as though 
there was not a wise man among y ou that could settle your 
disputes. 

One* observation . more upon christian experiefice, verse 
11, he. And such »\e-re some ol you: but y C are washed, 
sanctified, yeajubtitied— • bow? By faith in the Lord Jesus, 



19 

and by the spirit of our God. Justification and sanctifle&« 
•tion are not one arid thf same Him > 



CHAPTERS VII, Vlll. 

When Paul wrote this letter, time* were truly distress- 
ing among the persecuted christians; they requested the 
apostle's advice. In their present distress, his advice was, 
that those who were unmarried, shouft continue so, if ihey 
could he satisfied. Those who were married. let them cleave 
together, though one a christian and the other an infidel, 
and let the believer labour as they were unequal!) yoked, 
let the saint try to gain the sinner; but if the infidel would 
not live with the christian because of being' a- christian, let 
such an one depart, a brother or sister is not bound in such 
cases. Reader, take notice, that the little children of those 
unequally yoked parents are not to be considered as un- 
clean infidels, but by the gospej law as federally clean; 
and of course should be dedicated to God in Christ's name, 
and that name all who are baptized put on. 

Respecting the voung virgins here spoken of, let it be 
first remembered, that girls under age did not engage them* 
selves to any man without first consulting their parents, 
nor were they married without being « given in marriage." 
Therefore if the father refused to give his virgin daughter 
in marriage, he could do so; but if he discovered that he 
was too rigid, and behaved imprudent, and need should re- 
quire, let them marry, said Paul, or do either way, it was 
Bot sinful. 

The eighth chapter treats mostly on scrupulous niceties 
respecting meats, &c. ihat doth not concern us, only every 
brother ought to be cart fid not to offend each other in eat- 
ing or drinking, as you may read. You who are deep in 
gospel liberties may law fully do that which another views 
wrong; but emboldened by your conduct, he does the same* 
and to him it is sin. 



CHAPTERS IX, X. 

The man of God here defends his character as a true 
man and an apostle; for he had seen r he Lord Jesus, h*d 
heard his mice, and received commission verbally tn»m 
him*, moreover, the Lord had added many seals to his mi* 



• 



20 . 

ntstry. He shows that ministers have a right to receive ft 
necessary support, while *they sacrifice their time and . 
strength for the salvation of souls. He shows the propri- 
ety of this order hy corresponding doctrine: that the soldier 
is to he supported by the public; the planter and dresser of 
the vineyard, to be partakers of the benefits arising there- 
from; the labouring ox. that treadeth out the small grain, 
let him bite as he goes. Although this is the duty of all the 
members of a civilized christian nation; yet if this duty in 
supporting the gospel should be enforced by civil authority, 
why not every other duty also? A minister oi Jesus Christ 
is a steward; and it is require^ of stewards to be faithful, 
money or no money. Wo be to those who are called to' the 
ministry, if they refuse; and cursed is he that doeth the 
work of the Lord deceitfully! 

In the tenth chapter, the apostle exhorts the believer not 
to be ignorant respecting the danger of falling away; but 
take warning by a former elected people, who by faith pas- 
sed through the Red Sea, so called because it washed the 
banks of Edom, or red. They passed by faith; they all 
drank of the spiritual rock; they were all baptised unto 
Moses, or his order. How much like national baptism to 
Christ, which forms a Christendom. Those Jews were not 
immersed; but after this they displeased the Lord so highly 
that he destroyed them. These things are recorded for our 
examples; that christians may be guarded against evil, lest 
we fall short of the promised rest. These things are record- 
ed for our admonition; therefore you who think you stand 
shure, take heed lest you fall. So the chapter goes on with 
exhortations and caution: never once saying, ye cannot fall! 

CHAPTERS XI, XII. 

The holy apostle instructs the christians to observe de- 
cency and order in the house of God. That the sexes should 
distinguish themselves, both in dress and deportment. Long 
Iiair is an ornament to women, but not to men. God is or- 
der itself, and delights in order. Holy invisible angels at- 
tend the solemn assembly of pious worshippers perhaps, 
♦especially at the holy supper. The -abuse of the holy com- 
munion, as you read, brought heavy judgments on some of 
the Corinthians. The apostle's awful sentence, of eating 
$»d drinking condemnation to themselves, by their carnal 



24 

gross manner of proceeding, keeps some sincere disciples 
from the Lord's table. But let them read over the charac- 
ter of those people whom Paul alluded to. Followers of Je- 
sus, weak or strong in the faith, whose hope is in the Lord 
and not in themselves, whose hearts are sincere, who most 
heartily receive Christ Jesus the Lord, as teacher, saviour, 
iurd and master, and willingly can not only give God their 
heart, but their body a living sacrifice to God; let them 
discern that the bread and wine thus consecrated, which 
represents the body and blood of Jesus, is to be received 
by faith, spiritually, to feed our souls and not the body. 
Therefore, let sincere disriples examine themselves, and 
come; observing the Master's word, »* drink ye all of it." 

Id the twelfth chapter the contents appear to be as fol- 
lows: The church in the beginning did constitute one body 
of Jews and Gentiles, male and female, bond and free* 
They were wrought upon by one Spirit, in various opera- 
tions. Being baptised with water, they became nominal 
public christians. But those wno were born from above 
and inwardly washed by the Word, were baptised by the 
Spirit into fellowship with God and his people, and were 
christians indeed, by having Christ within as well as put 
on. This appears to show quite plain the intention of bap- 
tism, to form a union external and internal; one the sign- 
but to prefer the apostle's phrase we will say, one is the 
figure, the other the essential. This should be decided by 
the rules of syntax and analogy? and to make use of the 
above observations, the mode of baptism will appear to be 
affusion, if there be no private interpretation. Prophets we 
have none, for they are not needed, they have said all that 
is necessary to the end. Mvracles have ceased; apostles 
are go%e home. Observe, in Paul's day, bishops over elders, 
I could venture to aver, were not born, as some of them- 
selves have confessed. The elders and deacons, with gifted 
chief men among the brethren, could teach, and help in 
keeping order, and were all by divine appointment mem- 
bers in the same body, in subjection to the divine govern- 
ment. Reader, if you or your proxy will fairly prove by 
the gospel laws, that these sayings of ours are false asser- 
tions, let them be reiuted. 



22 



CHAPTER XT II. 

The evidence of things not seen with the eyes of flesh, 
yet realized through these opaque bodies, bringing home 
to the mind those things which are promised to tjje faithful 
followers' of our Lord, are truly delightful; but when the 
perfect light is come, the^e doll views will be done away. 
In this section the apostle extols charity as the n\ost excel- 
lent of all spiritual gifts and graces; by reason, learning, 
tongues, eloquence, and seeming charity, by giving all you 
have to the poor, yea, you may be a bigot to an opinion, 
even to burning, and if charity be wanting, it will be out of 
one fire into a greater. Now we will examine the fruits of 
charity. Reader, mark well, and mind if you are in posses- 
sion of this inestimable jewel. First, Charity will suffer 
wrong and long; yet be kind to the aggressor in need. Se- 
condly, Charity does nofebrag nor boast, but is meek and 
lowly. Thirdly, Charity desireth the happiness of others 
as well as her own, is not inclined to be suspicious, think- 
eth no evil of any one. Fourthly, Charity rejoiceth in the 
truth, believeth all the scripture, hopeth in the promises in 
the most dangerous times. All other things, yea, friends 
may fail, but charity, which is the love of <xod in the soul; 
hold that sacred, and you will be supported through fire and 
water; it was this that supported Daniel in the den 01 lions, 
the three champions in the flames of fire, martyrs at the 
stake, &c. Faiih is a great thing, and hope is like an an- 
chor; but these will cease, when love will rise higher and 
higher in glory, and have no end* 

•f. '■• ■ .. -* 4$- 

CHAPTER XIV. 

What is now, has been in the days of yore. Our reve- 
rend clergy boast of their learning, and rather despise 
preachers who are uncanonical, and set them on the left 
hand as naughts. It was somewhat so among the disciples 
in the new church in the city of Corinth. Men of different 
tongues were puffed up, and boasted. The apostle chid 
them, and told them that the tear hers were greater than 
they. The apostle observed, that lie could speak with more 
tongues than they all, or any of them; but he chose to ^peak 
in the language of his hearers, that was best for their 



23 



edification: and pray in a tongue that the people could say 
amen. All creatures, birds and beasts, have voices in ^hich 
there is meaning, and they understand each other. Let us 
leave the decision to the wise man Solomon; his answer is, 
<« He that winneth souls is wise." Those classical gentlemen 
are qualified to preach in the Latin and Greek churches; 
but to exhibit to us in Greek and Latin, we must have an 
interpreter. Languages may be useful to young men who 
intend to study law or physic, by reason the classics have 
made it a rule to mix their exhibitions; and to throw in a 
Latin phrase once in a -while to show us who they are. 
Surety to understand the dead languages is useful; but, 
among us, it is merely ornamental, and raises young men 
to be popular. \ very popular and very learned doctor, 
s,ome weeks since, expressed himself after the following 
manner: First, that one among the best physicians he ever 
knew, was only an English scholar; and then added, the 
time is not far distant, &:/. signifying it would be thought 
less of here. Yet learning is desirable, and very useful to 
any nation, if honestly and rightly improved: yet it gives 
bad men great advantages to prey upon the common peo- 
ple, both in church and state. Read Simson. 

CHAPTER* XV. 

An error had crept into the church, saying, there can be 
no resurrection of the body, how can it be? Paul raised 
powerful and logical arguments in favour of the resurrec- 
tion, saying, thou fool, that .which thou sowest is not quick- 
ened except it die; the same grain is seen no more, but God 
giveth it a bod}: so it will be in the resurrection, we shall- 
have this natural body no more, but our bodies in the re- 
surrection will be spiritual. Our Lord's resurrection is the 
cause and effectual power of our resurrection, both of body 
and soul. As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive, if Christ he not risen, then those who have died 
in the faith, are perished! Those baptised in his name, un- 
der a hope of enjoying him forever, are ruined; they wer« 
baptised for a dead Christ! But Christ is risen, as testified 
by five hundred witnesses. 

After the day of judgment Christ will no longer act as 
intercessor, but be altogether God with his people; sinners 
will be finally.lost, the way shut; saints finally saved, and 



no more need intercession. From thence saints can never 
fall, and sinners can never rise. 

Reader, pay attention to an important text, verse 2 L 2d» 
and try to understand it. If any man Iovq not the Lord 
Jesus, let him be accursed, or excommunicated from Christ's 
church now, and finally when the Lord Cometh. Now what 
is the difference in loving God, and loving Jesus? It is al? 
one and the same. 



It CORINTHIANS. 

CHAPTERS I, II, III. 

The dear apostle and his fellow labourers struggled 
through reproaches*, wants, and woes, but never left the 
work. Paul encouraged the brethren to endure like good 
soldiers, and help together in prayer. Christians, mind the 
example. Their rejoicing was from the testimony 'of a pur e 
conscience, that in the sweet simplicity of the gospel they 
had their conversation, verse 12. 

Chapter ii. 15, 16. All true ministers, who exhibit pure 
truth, they will be the savour of life to some, but of death 
to others. This gospel will be preached to all nations and 
people, and will appear as a witness to all nations. Note, 
if there be unconditional elects, previous to faith and con- 
version, what witness will the gospel be to them? And if 
others are, by a certain decree, whether a law-decree or a 
gospel-decree, left non elect, what can the gospel witnesi 
.against them? 

In the third chapter, Paul shows how much more glori* 
ous is the new dispensation than the old. The glorious she- 
kina, or emanation, caused *he face of Moses to shine so 
glorious, that he had to wear a vail when he first came down 
from ihe mountain, so that the people couI<! stand before him 
to hear the word of the Lord exhibited. There remaineth a 
vail on the hearts of the unbdieving.Jrws to this daj: bat 
when they turn to the Lord that vaU will be taken away, 
and the glorious light of the gospel will shine unU* *h »n. 
Let a christian who is made free by iht Smrit, carefuJly be 
fed by its impressions, and it will change" him from ^lorf 



25 



CHAPTER IV. 

In - this chapter about six particular heads of doctrine 
Wd\ suffice. First, concerning priestcraft. There were 
troublesome teachers from among the Jews and the philo- 
sophers, who handled the word of God deceitfully. Have 
we any such now? Secondly, The primitive ministers 
preached Christ Jesus the Lord; and where is there any 
Lord God besides? They held themselves servants of the 
church and .Cfhrist the Lord; therefore, the people who 
could not see into the gospel plan, of salvation, were blind- 
ed by Satan and the world, and were, and all such are, in 
imminent danger* Thirdly. The experience o* the christian 
is, God who commanded the light to shine in creation, doth 
cause the light of life to shine in every convert's heart. 
Fourthly, Here we have a sure confirmation that the old 
and new Testaments came from heaven through a pure 
channel; for the same Spirit by which the pr ophets spake, 
the apostles spake; and that was the Spirit of Christ 
Therefore God and Christ are one. Fifth*!), All thing** we 
see with our natural eyes are temporal, changeable, and 
perishable; but the things that we read of, hear of in the 
other world, whether good or evil, are eternal, and there- 
fore unchangeable, even hell's torments and heaven's joys. 
Reader, mind how y<»u conduct yourself. Sixthly, The hea- 
viest affliction that men and devils can invent, and were 
you to live under them one century, it might 'be said with 
propriety, all these are light and short compared to the 
damnation of hell ! 0, reader, reform and pray, 

CHAPTER V. 

Here we read the experience and great assurance tbat 
holy christians do enjoy this side of heaven; also the cer- 
tainty of the happy soul, when it leaves this body, of its 
going directly to the Lord Christ. Toe apostle saith, We 
know we have a place eternal in the heavens; for we walk . 
by faith. The faith Paul designates, works by love, and pu- 
rifies the heart. It is God who wrought this for us, and in 
u*. who hath given unto us his Spirit. While we who are 
in such a blessed state, while at home in the body are ab- 
sent from the Lord, Let us follow the chain. But let us la- 

D 



Dour that we may be always r»»ady, for we shall be judged 

by the evidence of our works at the last day. We must live 
in Christ, and die in the Lord; the proof is, we are new 
creatures. We gather from this chapt r, that Jesus died for 
all. and it so. all were dead. 'All who? what, all the elect* 
K f »: all sinners; for God in the humanity, when bleeding on 
f h « j cross, reconciled the world to himself on gospel terms, 
for law and gospel must be reconciled* Now Then, the mi- 
nisters exclaim. O sinners, (not elects ), God in Christ be- 
seeches, Christ in God prays you to be reconciled to your 
gracious God in, Christ on gospel terms; no forcing. Shall 
tjie offended Judge beseech the criminal, and he refuse? 
what must be the consequence? O, reader, how do you feel! 

CHAPTERS VI, VII. 

Here is divine instruction to young people, who profess 
to be the disciples of Christ. For a christian to marry an 
infidel, is an abomination. For a convert to marry an un- 
godly sinner, is a very unequal yoke, and dangerous, es- 
pecially on the woman's side, if she be a convert or a seek- 
er; for she is to be under the law of her husband* who has 
no taste for religion. She must please her God and her 
husband, which is like serving two masters. The Jew* 
thought it reproachful for their women not to marry; but 
Paul the christian recommends it, for such as can continue 
\n honour. 

In the seventh chapier we have the nature and fruits of 
repentance fairly stated. It arises from a conviction of the 
destructive and diabolical nature of sin. He sorrows after 
a heart-felt godly sort, considering how sin hath wrought 
btstrutn, and provoked so hoi}, so good a God. thaHias 
yet spared the rebel; and while he vieWs a blessed bleeding 
Saviour whom his -sins had pierced, together with the for- 
bearance of God. he mourns and repents. This* godly sor- 
row, wrought by the Spirit, worketh life unto salvation. 
He clears himself from vain company and their snares; he 
has a hoi > indignation against sin and Satan; behold he 
prayeth* and vehemently thirsteth after the living God; and 
zealously seeks till he finds. Now, saith the apostle, see- 
ing we have such promises of future happiness, let us la- 
hour by faith to be qualified to receive them, by cleansing 
aurselves from all filthineas of flesh and spirit, that we may 



* 2f 

• perfect holiness in the fear of God. 0, my readers, this ft 
the proper preparation to meet our God. 

CHAPTERS VIII, IX, X, XI, XII. 

Here we are exhorted to bestow charity on the poop 
suffering brethren, and be mo%ed Or excited by the gteat 
charity of. the blessed Saviour, who possessed heaven with 
all its glory, the world Mow with all 4«s wealth, ease and 
honour; the earth and seas and all are his; yet for our sakes 
he became poor, having no place as it were to iay his head! 
Through this wonderful condescension he purchased eter- 
nal life for us. together with riches, honour and intni total- 
ity, and mad*' us heirs andjoiat heirs with himself f«»r ver« 
How much like Satan mus' ne be, who in no degree I ovea 
the Lord Jesus! i 

Natice tfie 23d verse. The itinerant preachers who la- 
boured with Paul, such as Timothy* Titus and others, 
were not installed, but travellers and messengers of the 
churches, doing I he work of evangelist*,- preaching, teach> 
ing, and carrying tfie apostles' letters: they were said 
to be the glorj ot Christ, or the christian cause. Holy 
young men, who preach by precepr -or < xajnple; who hold 
their integrity, and deny themselves wives and established 
salaries; satisfied with a little necessary supply, and that 
freely given and thankfully received; tiil they learn like 
Paul to know to abound, and sometimes suffer need; and 
still go on, until they blossom for the grave: such are the 
most honorable, or among the most respectable men in this 
world. 

The apostle's revelation to the third heaven, we can 
read. The thorn in the flesh, to prevent spiritual pride* 
consisted in bodily afflictions, fiery temptations, and per- 
secutions. He prayed t<» the Lord to remove them; (he an- 
swer was, My grace is suffi< ient. This promise is for all 
his praying faithlul* people. Paul defends Jirmself against 
those messengers of Satan, false apostles; for Satan call 
form himself into the appearance of an angel of light, 

CHAPTER XIH. 

The brethren being corrupted by those evil messengers, 
who persuaded them that Paul was no apostle, and nearly 



overthrew the faith o? some; the apostle exhorted them to 
examine themselves, to see it' the) were yet in the faith, 
and not reprobates. Let all of us also examine ourselves 
daily. . . J|)fB|H 



GALATIANS. 

As there appears to be no dark saying in this letter, a 
a few necessary remarks on the whole may suffice. 

The apostle introduces himself to his Galatian brethren 
as to those who were in great disorder. He reminds them 
of his rise and progress as an apostle among them; and 
wonders that people so> enlightened by the pure gospel, 
should be so soon turned. Yon received the Spirit by the 
faith of the gospel, said he, and not by the ceremonial law; 
thus you began in the Spirit, and ran well for a while, and 
ended in the flesh.. He argues logically in showing the na- 
ture of the old law, and the gospel; how Abraham was jus- 
tified by faith in the promised seed, and we christians of 
ever> nation, are the covenanted children of Abraham, by 
faith in Christ Jesus. 

Those ministers who made the schism, and set the minds 
of the disciples against Paul, were what are called false 
apostles. They were learqed, zealous men, and spake with 
great animation, whereby they greatly affected the breth- 
ren. Paul asked them if they counted him their enemy be- 
cause be had told them the truth? They loved Paul recent- 
ly, and most dearly; they even received him as an angel of 
God, and would, if possible, have given him their very eyes! 
Where, said he, is the blessedness you spoke of? The apos- 
tle wished , those false teachers who troubled the churches, 
were even cut >ff— expelled. Had not he power to cut them 
off? This power appears to have rested in the church col- 
lectively, in scripture times. Paul sent out no bulls. He 
- exnorts his faithful brethren to stand last; though dead, he 
speaks the same to us. Paul highly approved of zeal, so it 
lie in the truth. 

Jerusalem above is the great glorious church, and she is 
fre» i , and is the true mother of the gospel church below; by 
reason the primitive church did come down from heaven. 



29 

So John the baptist preacher!, saying, "the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand." That the kingdom of glory is 'the mo- 
ther of the primitive church -bej*>w; observe, 

1. My kingdom is not of his world, saith the King: take 
notice. ' , 

2. The new Jerusalem came down from God out of hea- 
ven: so. saith the apostle John. 

3. The laws of the old kingdom were from heaven. See 
I) to. ix. 9. We have not obeyed the voice' of the Lord our 
God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his ser- 
vants the prophets. This is certain. 

Listen, O, listen, and hear what a holy angel just from 
heaven said to John, Rev. xxii. 9. " I am thy feitow ser- 
vant, and of thy brethren the prnpuets,*and of them which 
keep the sayings of this book." We christians haw one 
law giver, who is able to save, and destroy James iv. 12. 
We are under the law of Christ. Paul! We establish the 
law. So then, the true«church is an established church by 
law; but the law is suitable to the church, for it came down 
.fom heaven. Add not to the word, says the prophet. 

In the^sequel of Paul to the Galatians, he breathes the 
spirit of a man of God; he exhorts his friends to hold fast, 
and press' on. Me travails in birth a secdnd time fur bis 
persecutors, with his usual prayer, The grace aud love of 
God be with you all. Amen. 



• EPHESIANV 

CHAPTER I. 

Here the reader will enter into .mysteries respecting the 
suhj^t of dispute about toreknowledge, decrees, &c. Be- 
fore the foundation of the world he knew his works. Known 
unto God are all his works, past, present and future. He 
is not only infinitely wise, but he is wisdom itself; for di- 
vine wisdom is essential to his eternal existence. He must, 
therefore, be possessed of all knowledge, (as we talk) past, 
present and to come; but with him i* is all present, by rea- 
son, he fills every p«i»t| in duration. Let David speak, Such 
knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot at- 



30 



tain if. Whither shall I gfn from thy spirit, or flee from 
•thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, th ;> &• re: if 
J make my bed in hell, all 4hy wrarh is there; if I k he 
wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parrs of lie 
earth or sea, thy right hand will hold rnr, In him we rn »vr. 
He seeth through the divisibility of matter. He speaks >f 
things before they come to pass* as hough they were. Me 
eternally saw all the fluctuating scenes of tune. He decreed 
to give the rurne*d world a Saviour, and therefore he is said 
to be a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Accor- 
ding to infinite knowledge, he decreed, predestinated, and 
marked out his generation according to the fle^h. which 
fixed the Jews an e&ct nation, for the purpose that the eter- 
nal Jesus should be the first born among many brethren, as 
having the pre-eminence. Th/us the Jews (before the Gen- 
tiles were called) were his people. But the scriptures fore- 
saw and foretold, that the Gentiles would* be in time the 
Lord's elect; therefore the gospel^was preached to Abra- 
ham, when his name was enlarged from Ahram to Abra- 
ham, according to his good will and the glory of his grace.- 
Beware how you draw your calculations from Grid's fore- 
knowledge, and confound not his foreknowlege with his 
righteous decrees. Justice and judgment supports his 
throve: mercy and truth goes before. He that believes and 
obeys the truth, will obtain inerey; but no people need ever 
expect mercy, unless they believe, obey, know the truth, 
and keep it. 

God foresaw that the Jew* would reject Christ, but the 
Gentiles would receive him ; therefore, according to his 
knowledge and the people's conduct, so the Lord wisely, 
justly and mercifully predetermined. Sowthen, they who 
were not his, became his people, even his elected ecclesia! 
True and righteous is he, and so his works must be. The 
natural man, with Insinuate ideas, argues thus: As God is 
all-wisfe and all-powerful, why -doth he suffer these evils to 
be done*, by men? Answer, God is goodness itself, and ab- 
hors moral evils, yet the scripuire calls it his long forbear- 
ance, which proves, man's freedom beyond contradiction. 
We should endeavour to understand the noble order of our 
creation and first situation. Man was created in the like- 
ness, and holy image of God; and although we have de- 
parted from* original order, we retain some likeness of our 
Maker, seeing we are intelligences. Were God. to "take 



away our freedom of choice, he would break the order of 
our creation. Were our Lord to act absolutely, there could 
be no use for law and government. Man hat!^ life and 
death set before him; blessing and cursing; and is directed 
to choose liie, but is not forced into God's service. 

CHAPTERS II, III. 

Bei^evers are quickened, who were dead in sin; were 
these the elect, or reprobates? Jews anil Gentiles in Christ 
were all one; built upon the testimony of prophets and 
apostles. The apostle's prayer is, that christians may com* 
prebend what the breadth, length, depth and height of pur© 
christian religion is. v 

CHAPTER IV. 

First, look at the union which ought to subsist in 
churcii of God and Chgist, viz. one body, united by one 
Spirit. To illustrate the above assertion, the Spirit that 
thus unites, is the Spirit that enlightens and draws Us home 
to God, pmduceth the new birth, bears witness with the 
believer's spirit, and then seals him. Is this the Spirit of 
God, or the Spirit of Christ? If thou canst, tell. It any 
man have not the Spirit of Christ, ho js none of bis; and as 
many as are led by <he Spirit of God, they are the sons of 
God; and there is but one Holy Spirit. Doth not the Ari- 
an's farth waver at this stumbling bl:>rk? The apostle saith, 
one faith, that is, one pure faith, looking to Jesus as their 
one Lord God; a faith that works by love, purifies the 
heart, proves itself by a holy obedieut life, and overcometh 
the world. This faith is accompanied with a comfortable 
hope of glory. There is also one baptism. Note; pure faith, 
a reasonable scripture hope*, and divine love, are all essen- 
tials; we cannot be saveo 1 without these. Now* shall we 
consider water baptism in any mode to be essentia!? God 
forbid that we should so far be deceived. It is said the bap- 
tists have put away spiritual baptism altogether. 

In this fourth chapter we read of our Lord's ascension 
to the highest heavens (from whence he descended), even 
to that.exalted state of glory he had before the world. was. 
Here men who mean well may stumble and be broken, by 
considering the liord in glory as he was when weeping over 



32 

Jerusalem in the days of his flesh. friendly reader, look 
<m the two last verses of the 24th Psalm; fail not. 

CHAPTERS V, VI. 

. The few remarks necessary to be made on the close of 
ihi-i letter may be as follows, with a pressing exhortation 
to be * lose followers of God, as a faniiij of dear loving chil- 
dren..- Who can show the difference between the foli<#ers of 
G;*d and the followers of Christ? 

How sjiall we understand thjjs saying, that he gave him- 
self a sacrifice to God? Reader, take heed how you believe. 
It is written in the scriptures, of truth, that Christ was put 
to death in the flesh: he bore our sins in his own body on 
the tree. His body. Paul? Who was he who gi'vr Ais body? 
Moreover, who and where was that God to whom he made 
the sacrifice? Mind, reader, here -re holy and interesting 
rnysterie* f( is written, God was in Christ. reconciling the 
world to himself. This was the Godhead of Christ, who re- 
conciled the world to himself, by his own b"dy. He p r- 
chased us with My own blood.* So it stands unshaken, God 
and Christ are one* in spite'of antichristian heresies. It be- 
hoved Christ to be like unto us men: therefore he possessed 
a body, a soul, which was., the- Deity or Divino} and bis 
Spirit was and is the*. divine operation^ that enlightens aod 
quickens the believer's soul. Were his so«l a human soul, 
its operation would never produce in us the ne a birth. 

Read how pure the church must be beioreshe enters into 
glory. No flesh spoiqp no worldly -blemish; no wrinkles of 
a decay in the life of religion. Brother, if you believe these 
sacred truths, let us see your fat Hi. &e. 

Mark well how the apostle argues relative duties: read 
and obey them. O, how little these things are regarded. 
What shall we answer tin Judge 1 , when the books are open- 
ed? That duty of masters* servants, and slaves. If I should 
enter into the subject of slaves, it would swell to a history, 
and would lead me off my subject. This I .will sa>, we are 
bound to do in every station of life, as we would be done 
by. We have but few sober minds in America, but *ees, 
knows, and feels, that our negro slavery is as tar from 
right, as a banditti of rpbbers a r* from honour and hmnesty. 
But the difficulty lies _irrt.be proper method of its extirpa- 
tion. A christian, who is merciful to his slaves, perhaps is 



33 

not so criminal as he that is in the spirit of it. If any man 

wishes to see slavery opened to the light, let him read Tho- 
mas Clarkwon's essay on Slavery. Do read it. 

Paul closes his letter to the Ephesian* with, Peace be to 
the brethren. j - ' 



PHILIPPIANS. 

The Philippians were blessed' and orderly christians^ 
•bedicnt to divine instructions, not only when Paul as 
with them, but more so when he was Irom them. Their 
faith and virtue was talked oft far and wide. This was a 
proof that the good Spirit worked in them; their work was 
to act\fron» those divine impressions, i" working out their 
salvation with awe, &c # Some christians say, where God 
begins a good work in the souK he surely will finish it. 
Tins leaves the creature nothing to do; but the truth shows 
how man may begin in the Spirit and end in fb* flesh. Oth* 
ers may apologise, that as they are not religious the* can- 
not begin a work of grace in their poor dead souls, and 
God haih not began it. To this impertinent speech we may 
answer, God has often knocked at your door for entrance, 
but you have refused and quenched the light, and resisted 
the Holy Spirit. God strives graciously, but nor Uy force, 
W hat was done to the maYi who received a talent, but n«r 
ver improved it? He was cast into perdition! 

The Philippians were kind to their ministers, who had 
no settled salaries. The conversation of christians should 
be such as adorns tjieir profession. Paul had a desire to de- 
part and be with Christ; which proves tha* the go. d s >ul, 
when it departs this life, ascends swiftly to Christ in glory, 
What a joy it is to holy ministers to see the holy nr« ti^-en. 
growing in grace. There is great consolation in Chr»*» ;,ud 
society; there is great comfort in the life of love and chris- 
tian fellowship. Paul taught the brethren to believe tba* .'he 
name of Jesus was above every name fn heaven ,md oq 
earth; and'that ail should bow the knee and worship the di- 
vine Saviour, the^God Man! k- . 

The apostle warned the former brethren, and he warns 
us, to beware of false teachers. We haft the bltsjed lioa- 



trine of perfection wrote by Paul, and the way to attain it. 
First, we must believe in the doctrine, and that we aro 
bound to seek after it; or we shall not p rsevere, and of 
course must fall back. The way is. .to follow after* higher 
attainments of light, fotith and love. BuCneverthel£Ss ? you 
must walk by the same rule, mind the same tiling, walk, by 
faith in a holy obedient fife. Tiv^ rule you are to walk by 
is even the word of God. Turn neither to the right, nor to 
the left; poridcjj; the path of thy feet, look straight before 
you; and by, happy experience you will know, that your 
wa> will shine brighter and brighter to the perfect day. 
Will you seek after it? . 

Paul concluded his letter to his much beloved Philippi- 
a«<s, as your author does to his brethren: The grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 



COLOS.SIANS. 

Ootosss was a city of Phr > gia. This church was prin- 
cinaliv raised under the ministry of Epaphras, a faithful 
brother, who brought the glad tidings to Paul, who wrote 
to them this epistle, m which he styles them saints and 
faithful brethren in Christ. They heard, and we have heard, 
in the word of a pure gospel, of the pleasure and treasure 
laid up in heaven for such saints. So tar as we understand, 
believe, experience and obey the apostle's writings, so far 
? we are authodox christians, independant of human tradi- 
tions, marching on towards heaven. 

In verses 13, &x. the doctrine of redemption is expressed 
in plain language. We have redemption (how?) through his 
blood, (what is it?) even the forgiveness of sins! Reader, 
do you understand this? Look here, the visible Christ was 
the* express image, in beauty, purity, wisdom and power, 
of the nvisible God.* He is called the first-born of everjr 
creature, and the first- born from the 'lead; here, we sup- 
pose, it alludes *to the resurrection. See the type in the 
days of yore; the first born son in a family had the pre- 
©mWnce, and a>:ted ^.rhu:>«a n in the fajnily. Esau sold 
his birth-Hg tl. ami be is > ai ed profane Esau! Christ is 
llie creator ot the creatures; they were created by Kim and 



35 



ffor him; and he is before all things. He dfcs, by divine ap* 
pointment. a Lamb slain from the foundation of the worjft* 
which answered for Adam's just ideation'), and of course af» 
toned for the sin«<f the world. There coMd be no diff* renca 
in rhe unborn f ar- : else Adam's son! \< as jji part elect* and 
the other par 4 reprobate J Impossible! 

Christ being the, head of his church, therefore as the 
fi st-born, he must have the pre-eminence; for all divjna 
fulness was in him. God , railed Eph Him his first-born, 
jer. xxxi. 9. David is said to be the first -V>P|) of ktr.'gs. 
Psal. Ixviii. 27. The christians wen-, and they still are, 
warned to take care of innovations, false doctHnes,and vain 
philosophy, which corrupted the churches^ TV ach* rs who 
before were Jews, yet fond ot their -.Id ordinances,^alletl 
the rudiments of the old church, as the firs* principles at 
the introducing of the gospel; such as Jewish baptisms, &c. 
J> st look, Rom. vi. Jews and Gentiles were fond of old hu- 
man traditions, even from Adam, who fold his children, ant) 
children's children, long before Moses, concerning the fall 
and the promised seed. I t went through so many urn leari 
hands, that only a few dark ideas of truth reoiaioed; but 
they could add. *nd invent, which the philosophers. of dif- 
ferent nations did abtaidan'ly. Paul did not condemn true 
philosophy, for his mind was no stranger to it; but Vain 
inventions. I he philosophers of all nations had their no- 
tions, figures and allegories, concerning the Supreme; in* 
deed fhey had some dark ideas of what is called a Trinity. 
By viewing the creation, they read the glorious attributes 
ofDeus, by which the) gave names to three invisible pow- 
ers. To the great power they gave the name <»f Qromazes, 
JJn known. Some of them admitted another great one, who 
was expected as the desire of all nations, so called. Some 
supposed him to be a God, but not equal'; him they « ailed 
JWythras* Some thought Mythras w as equal, eternal; oth- 
ers said no, but the production of his power. Others sup* 
posed Mythras was a middle God, for feeling, and believed 
to be an immaterial substance, and also a deity; his name 
was Conductor. Such were their gross absurdities. Others 
were wicked deceivers, who aimed at the downfall of Zion. 
Our apostle holds up Chr ist as our only one Lord Go<?, and 
we are complete in him. Those who will foil ;* the G*n- 
tile philosophers before the holy apostles* are as men be- 
witched. 



38 



lipt us endeavour to understand how baptism succeeded 
fcireomcision. Note, the baptism of John decreased, and di- 
ed a* Pentecost; therefore is not the hap? ism of the new tes- 
tament saints. Now, as christians, set your affections on 
things above, where Christ your life is; mortify the remains 
of carnal smugglings. We are fighting for life and liberty, 
and running for a prize. Keep that in view. 

Look well to the 16tb verse. See the apostle's rules of 
Society, which were ordered to be read in all the churches. 
These rules we have, and need no other* The apostle closes 
his letter with pure instructions and prayer. Amen. 



I. THESSALONI ANS. 

Let us make a few remarks on this first letter. It gives 
thanks to God for the conversion of so many infidels fr«»m 
idolatry; to Christianity. The apostle had great faith in that 
people. What a pleasure it is to a minister of Christ to see 
the Lord's people in sweet fellowship with God and each 
other, talking as bccometh the gospel of Christ- Paul re- 
minds them how they laboured wiuh them by pure doc- 
trines and'holy examples, but with much contention.. 

The 14th verse, second chapter, should be noticed. The 
first christian, church was planted m Jerusalem; and the 
faith and ordered that church was the pattern for all the 
Gf utile churches: for the law went out from Zion, and the 
vvfU'd from Jerusalem. 

Notice the 13th verse of the second chapter. These peo- 
ple received the word from Uie letters and from the lips of 
the preachers, not as the words of man. but as from God; 
and it bad the desired effect. Read it* and try the experi- 
ment. O, what an open, gracious door for sinners, who by 
the sweet gospel are now invited in. As for christian breth- 
ren's loving each other, they were*and are taught of God 
to love one another. Members of churches, how do you feel 
respecting this? 

The sequel of this holy letter is instructive and delight- 
ful. The christians are told that it was their privilege to 
keep up such a lively witness, that in all times of trouble, 
%ials, sorrows, &c. the lively hopes of heaven should ena- 



ble them to rejoice evermore, w itfi prayers and thanksgiv- 
ings fan thiM vvius and 2s the will o. God. 

O. brother, hear the word oi t*»e Lord. First, pay pro- 
per attention to preaching. Secondly, rece.ve no doctrine 
W what is according to godliness; and hold fast what is. 
good. 1 hirdh , abstain from the a'ppearance of evil; believe 
and be* sam tifit d, body, soul, and spirit* The terms are 
laid -down; the promise is sure. Good man, proceed accord- 
ingly: and when you attain to it, you will need no interpre- 
ter. The grace o^ Jesus Christ be with his people. Amen. 



II. THESSALONIANS, 

^Remarks on a few cardinal points in these three short 
chapters. First, Paul speaks well of this church in both 
letters; ta?ks of their growing faith, and increasing l?we. 
Ko ice these things, christians, it is written to you, and all 
who may follow in succession, unto the end of time. 

The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in a grand 
and awful manner, in flames of fire, taking vengeance on 
those who know not God and obey not the gospel. Ven- 
geance is a just return for mere mockery and slighted mer- 
cy. This just furv will fall on gospef slighters, w ho despise 
the riches of his grace and his long forbearance. Reader* 
dost thou know God? « 

In the second chapter, it appears that some people were 
under an impression that the Lord would shortly appear; 
but the apostle told :hen»< by The spirit of prophecy, that 
there would be a great falling away of the church be- 
fore that day. Antichrist, the man of sin, would Jbe made 
manifest, who should sei himself at the head of Christ's 
church in the place of God, professing infallibility, grant- 
ing indulgences, torgiviug sins, &c. This was the full 
growth of episcopacy; therefore it is well known, that this 
great falling away of the church was in the days of bishops; 
and the pope in succession is an overgrown bishop, as the 
monstrous shark is the fulness of the dog fish. Popery hap- 
pened several centuries after Paul's prophecy. Is all the 
blame to be impute; to the corrupt ministry, or partly te 
tfce laity? Note, Satan deceived £ve, but she was not there* 



l»y exempt from punishment; neit her was Adam, The church 
is ordered not to receive corrupt ministers, rtOr heir doc- 
trine. Stand fast, brethreti, and withdraw from every bro- 
ther that walketh disorderly, that is, contrary to our direc- 
tions. The scripture is order. See third chapter, verse 14. 
Here is discipline. The grace of the Lord be withjou. 



I. TIMOTHY. 

CHAPTERS I, II. 

Ovr apost!e directed and besought the itinerant minis- 
ter to abide awhile in Ephesus^ and to give the solemn 
charge to preachers to introduce no new doctrine, but the 
pure gospel as delivered by the apostles, » bat is called the 
glorious gospel of the blessed God. The faithful saying is, 
that Christ Jesus came into-the Vorld to save sinners. Who 
is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God? 
It is the Lord Jesus. O young men, called to the great 
work, war a good warfare; hold faith and a good conscience. 
This constitutes a christian; and the same can be held fast, 
or be put away, as some had done in the apostle's day. Dear 
preachers, keep a single eye, fight manfully, steer carefully. 
It is the will of God that the church should pray for all peo- 
ple, for all sorts and conditions of men; by reason,-the Lord 
willeth all men to be taved, but not out of order. The Lord 
willeth that godly women should dress in modest apparel, 
modest; looks; not with proud dressed hair, nor gold, nor 
costly array. A woman is not to assume the place nf a pub- 
lic teacher, which is the elder's station. Notwithstanding 
she was 'the first sinner, arid must pass through great bit - 
terness in bearing children, God will save her in her deep 
distress, if she continues in the faith and lives a sober and 
holy life. 

CHAPTERS III, IV. 

If a man, a preacher, desires the office of an elder in the 
church from pure motives, he desireth a good work. Read 
his character. An office above a bresbyter was not known 
iti those days, though some translators choose to call the 



$9 $ 

elders by that ijame sometimes for their purpose; they ap- 
peared alter the golden days; but bishop and elder were a|f * 
one. Elders should bear a spotless character, and be re- 
commended by the church, because the church can receive 
or reject preachers, and those men must be in credit am nog 
respectable men without. Then let such be proved some 
time, as a preacher and christian, before "ordination; let 
into arrive to a degree of knowledge above a novice, lest he 
be taken in the snare that the ctevil lays for preachers. 

Then comes on the order of deacons. This is an honor* 
able office, when properly elected by the laity, that is* to 
say the church, and set apart by the hands of the presby- 
tery, to act in the temporalities of the Yhurch, which re* 
quires hoi) honest men. When God* calls a deacon to the 
ministry, let the people select* another to act in ^is place* 
|;et it be observed, that elders and deacons both act as stew- 
aids; and it is .required of stewards to be faithful. 

The 16th verse oi the third chapter points out one of the 
greatest mysteries in the sacred records, viz. That the eter- 
nal God was declared, revealed *to view, made manifest in 
the tltsh as a person called Jesus Christ! It is the same as 
Emanuel, i. e. God with us. Let the reader dare to believe 
w hat his reason cannot fully comprehend. 

The fourth chapter shows, from a former prophecy, the 
danger of departing hum ihe pure faith, as foretold would 
come to pass in the latter day: which may be traced in the 
rjl* and progress of episcopacy, with the addition of human 
rules added to the sacred word: which corruption grew up 
to popery, as is well known; which opened a door for the 
man of sin, the great impostor, and also for the heretic 
Arius. &e. I o dt ti) »he lull divinity of Christ, is to destroy 
the atonement; and that overturns redemption through his 
blood, even the ioreiveness of sins! Such doctrine is he- 
resy, or in plain terms, we judge it « the doctrine of de- 

CHAPTERS IV, V, VI. 

The churches were troubled with vain disputers, of whicb 
the ministry is warned to take care, but cleave to the pure 
•word, read, believe, obey, and teach it; and thereby, 
through grace, ministers may be saved, with their obedient 
hearers, # 



♦ 



* 40 

In the fifth chapter, thexhrtstiaii ministers are directed 

iiow i-> conduct themselves towards one another, and to all 
m>'i. The aged and young, the eiders In age and the elders 
in fli v, the youog^ mi ulsters must reprove w here they see 
caus: i\; *>u? in this ;h y must agr just as the apostle directs; 
• read it w;tfh due reverence and obedience. 

Th" rhurrbes now are not burdened with widows, as in 
those former d uys: so we may pass that over. Christians 
are hound by the gospel faith, to endeavour to provide for 
their families. 

Chap, v. 10. Ooserve, pious old widows did wash the 
traveller's feast, who had walked through the scorching 
Sands with his sandals/m. Strange that men of understand- 
ing should adopt this as onWof the ordinances of Christ's 
church! fcur Lord condescended to wash the disciples' feet; 
the cause may be understood as follows: First, it may teach 
ministers to act as servants, and not as lords over his peo- 
ple. Secondly, this may serve as a sample for. his people to 
show kindness »ne to another. Thirdly, it may answer as 
a fj^ore oi having our souls cleansed through the word. 
Fiualh, as water is only a figure, a small quantity is equal 

to much. '*^I*v^iHHHB 
J a The 17th verse, &c> we find a suhject not well^inder- 
Stdptd by os a!!, to wit, these two kinds of elders. We can- 
no; find in the g«od book that the presbytery ever ordained 
any men b> the imposition of hands r ~but elders and deacons; 
yet there were chief or principal men among the brethren, 
that is to say, among »he Ia> members, to act- and do busi- 
ness, called " helps." &c. leaders, yea, useful men. See 
Acts xv. 22, 23. From the best information we ever had, 
the eiders there, mentioned both grew out of the same root, 
viz. senior, elder; seniority, eldership, elders by age, and 
elders by- «ffice. Old desolate men, it seems, were support- 
ed out of the common stock; but labouring elders especial- 
ly, who have given themselves up to the work, let them not 
suffer; muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the com. But 
is there no provision made for the bishop? No! The way 
ministers were supported after their first public funds were 
exhausted, it appears, was by free donations; no law com- 
pulsion. The ministers had to learn contentment, even in 
adversity. 

Towards the close of this chapter the Apostle saith, be 
earefift against partiality, and against hasty ordinatioa. 



4i 

Ministers were to ordain elders; but where is it written that 
elders were directed to ordain bishops over elders? The 
fountain cannot rise higher than the stream. Look over 
this thrice, then draw thy conclusion; which will be found 
thus, Apostle, Elder, and Deacon, whose office was to see 
about the temporalities of the church* Those deacons were 
the choice of the lay members, but ordained by the imposi- 
tion of hands. Reader, notice; you read of bishop and dea- 
con; but bishop, elder and deacon you never read of in the 
word. Here lies the priestcraft, as it is called. 

The close of the third chapter gives a solemn charge to 
the ministers, how to behave themselves in the house of 
God, and how to preach Christ, even God, openly and 
plainly manifest in the flesh. If God be in the flesh of 
Christ, that flesh must be divine! Look at this again* 

CHAPTERS IV, V, VI, 

The fourth chapter speaks prophetically of the mystery 
•f iniquity, or the dreadful apostacy, in the departure of 
the church from the pure faith that was once delivered to 
the saints, which terminated in popery; the same issued 
from its root, episcopacy, as is well known; and if its root 
be unholy, so are its branches. 

We enter the sixth chapter, and lo, it speaks of servants 
under the yoke, whether voluntary or by compulsion, if it 
be the law of the land, let the servants be subject, and not 
be guilty of sedition; and such as are deprived of their na- 
tural right, and hired servants whose wages are krpt back, 
vengeance will be taken in some- way, on the soul or body, 
except repentance prevent. An ignorant and inferior class 
of people are not the men to revolutionize a nation; and 
therefore, christian ministers will always teach servants or 
slaves to be subject, until Providence shall open a door 
whereby they may walk out in credit and safety. 

The inspired Paul testifies that the love of money is the 
root, or main root, of all evil. The interpretation may be 
thus understood: The heart that is enveloped in the love of 
this world, and as money answers to the acquiring what 
the world can afford to the satisfaction of the flesh, therefore 
% it is idolatry; and where the love of the world is rooted in 
the heart and affections, there the love of God is not. And 
ajs the love of God is the root of all goad ia a believer's 

F 



42 



Ibeart, as it is indeed the very nature of God, and draws his 
affections to things above, whereas the mars of this world 
sets his affections on thin£*> below, therefore there is form- 
ed a striking contrast. O, man of God, flee these things, 
fight on, run and seize eternal life. 

Chap. vi. 12* 13, 14. Here stands on record an awful, 
solemn charge on 1 he ministers of the gospel, that they keep 
the holy commandment without spot, in regular succession, 
until the Master shall come. Verses 15, 16. Who is this 
great Potentate? Blessed, jea, King of kings, Lord of lojrds, 
yea, the only Potentate, who only hath immortality; who 
dwelleth in light that is not accessible to man, therefore it 
must be eternal increased light; he whom no man can see: 
to him be honour and power everlasting. Amen. The 14th 
and 15th verses testifies that this distinguished being is Je- 
sus Christ; and if so, if he be not God Amighty, there can 
be no God. When this -glory is revealed, Alius will shud- 
der. See iv. 15, l6.i 1 he scriptures are full. and complete. 



II. TIMOTHY. 

This letter abounds with excellent instructions to young 
Timothy, and all gospel preachers in succession. If Timo- 
thy had not the advantage, of a classical education, he had 
the advantage of a religious education, by the precedency 
of his pious mothers, who taught him to read and under- 
stand the holy scriptures, a book but little used in our great 
schools. Alas! it is not strange that so many deists should 
issue out of colleges. 

Ministers are charged to hold sound doctrine, with faith 
and love. 

About this time there was a dreadful upostacy in Asia, 
occasioned by two preachers, who are named. 

Verse 10. Paul declares his sufferings for the elect's sake, 
that they may obtain eternal salvation in glory. Thus it 
appears that the elect have no absolute assurance until they 
die in the Lord; but they possess a delightful hope in this 
life* and if faithful, no doubt faithful is he that promises,, 
and will do it 



4S 



Ycng ministers have to study, pray, learn and improve 
on gifts and grai :*;,e, untl : ihey become workmen who need 
tv « I be n -named, rightly diving the' word of trutn, in specu- 
lative, experiment a) and practical divinity; not always feed- 
ing f he sheep wi?b tniik, nor building up the church with a 
long-since finished salvation,. 

Header, take notice; if we christians deny Christ, he will 
also deny us. Those who deny his God-head, indirectly de- 
ny him. Gud may wink at ignorance. 

S"e verse 18, &c. To deny the resurrection of the body, 
is a fundamental error. 

Chap, ir, 19. Observe, in scripture times the followers of 
Christ were called christians, a hi h is a sacred name; there- 
fore, those who name that name should abstain from the ap- 
pearance of evil. 

The religion of Christ is a revealed religion; we must all 
be taught of God. Man may be always learning, bul*n« ver 
kn'iw the truth. Timothy's learning came through a pure 
change!, even by the letter and spirit of the gospel. 

Chap. i.v. 7. 8. We read the apostle's late testimony, that 
he had fought a good fight, finished his course, and kept 
the faith; wherefore he had no doubt of his crown. The 
same is appointed for ail who love the Lord's appearing. 
Reader, do you long to see .him? 

Friendly reader, you will see a solitary paragraph, affer 
you finish the letter, respecting Timothy being the first or- 
dained bishop, meaning an elder over eldt-r, L hope you 
■will not believe it, as not being wrote by the apostle. Be 
not offended. Asifthe Greek scholar. 



T IT U S. 



This short letter is not very mysterious, or hard to un- 
derstand. This ymng man whs converted under the ministry 
of Paul, and soon commenced an itinerant minister, in obedi- 
ence to the commandment of God the Saviour. Therefore, 
Christ in God, is our Saviour. God out of Christ will savo 
none: he is as flames of fir; it would be a fearful thing to 
Sail into his hands. And Christ out of God can save none. 



44 

Therefore, as God hath joined both in one, let no man di- 
vide, in our Lord's coat there was no seam. 

Titus was leit awhile in Crete, to pm things in order, as 
directed bj the apostle. He who is called elder in the 5th 
ferse, is called bishop in the 7th; thus you see they are not 
two orders. The making two orders' of ministers, bishop 
over elder, is not of God; nor was the thing known when 
the church was under scripture government. 

In the second chapter, we read of grace appearing, in the 
letter and by the spirit; am! that is the grace producing saU 
Nation, for that teacheth every one to reform, come to, and 
follow the light; which men refuse to d* therefore neg- 
lect the great salvation; then how shall they escape divine 
wrath? 

In the fourth chapter, God is called our kind Saviour. 

Look at chap. ii. 14, &c. and pray for a redemption that 
purifies from all outward and secret faults; that we rn^y b© 
God's peculiar people. O* listen, <* Be ye holy, for J am 
holy." 

Chap, iii. 10. Here the church is directed how to treat 
the man that is a heretic. What shall we count heresy? To 
deny the Lord that bought us, is damnable heresy; and to 
own him as inferior to God, is very much like unto heresy. 
Reformed churches generally believe, that Arius and such 
like were surely heretics. Jews and philosophers corrupt- 
ed the churches with fables and human commandments. 

The letter to Titus concludes with love and prayer; but 
the solitary paragraph that appears* saying, Titus was first 
bishop of such a church, believe it notj|j$ is not scripture. 



PHILEMON, 

PiuiiEMoK was a dear christian brother, and friend to 
Paul* Qnesimus absconded, «r ran away in debt to his mas- 
ter. This servant was not in a state of involuntary slavery, 
as your black slaves are. This runaway seemed to be di- 
rected by Providence, that he heard Paul preach Jesus; he 
received the truth, and became a convert. The apostle ad- 
vised him to return to his master, and take this letter with 
Mm, &c. &ci 



HEBREWS. 

CHAPTER I. 

The apostle introduces this letter, by pointing out the 
§ev< htl ways in which the Lord formerly spake to hrs ser- 
vants: but at length God spake to the world, both Jews and 
Gent les, by the Lord; he spake by him who made all things; 
to whom he says. Thy throne, O God, &c. Jesus the Son 
was the brightness of the Father's giory. Htflformerly 
spake by Isaiah, the .prophet, saying. *• Lo, I come." This* 
wah Jesus, the Word, who came in a stream of emanation, 
even in streams of bright gl »ry, from the bosom of the eter- 
nal Mind; who became clothed vVith a pure body of flesh, 
which was the Word made flesh, and was both human and 
diviiile. As the pure bod} grew up to perfect man, his Esse, 
or divine Soul, which was the eternal Life, by which the 
body existed, it filled up until the fulness of the Godhead 
was in the possession of the body of Christ ' bodily, and 
thus he became perfect God and man iu one person. The 
Lord's Christ is Jehovah's person, and is the holy express 
image ol Deity, ail one incarnate. All that one hath the 
other is in possession of. 

CHAPTERS II, III, IV. 

Thus for a gracious purpose Jesus was made, or placed, 
in a state somewhat lower than the angels, for the purpose 
of redeeming a lost people by a painful and shameful death; 
and he, by the divine will and favour, tasted death for eve- 
ry man, to deliver them -from the power of Satan and the 
slavish fear of death; and thus he condescended to sing 
praises in the midst of the church. Dear people, who en- 
joy such great liberties as the American citizens do, how 
w ill you escape eternal misery if you make light of so great 
salvation? It behoved Christ to be like unto his people, that 
In might be our merciful high-priest in things pertaining 
to God, respecting a reconciliation. 

In the third chapter, there is a similitude drawn between 
Moses and the divine Saviour. Moses was charged to build 
thfi former church, called a house, exactly by the pattern 



46 



showed him on the mount. So Moses built the house, and 
acted in it accordi»sg to the word, as a servant; but Christ 
built the new church according to the heavenly house above, 
.and became master of it. j'he kingdom above is governed 
by the word of God, as recorded below, if an angel can be 
depended on, who said to John, I am thy fellow servant, 
and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus, and 
those who keep the sayings of this book. Rev. xxti. 8. The 
church in heaven and the church on earth are established 
on justice and judgment. Psalm Ixxxix. Isaiah ix. Jose- 
phus called the scripture government a theocracy. 

Here follows an exhortation that christians should be 
careful to guard against a hard heart, nor cast away their 
confidence, to beware of presumption and despair; lest they 
should fail as the Jews did. The danger of departing from 
the living God, is seen in the L2th verse. 

The fourth chapter treats on the doctrine of the believer's 
rest. Rest is desirable only to the weary. The penitent 
burdened soul, who discovers no human probability to es- 
cape the pains of hell, his soul feels trouble and heaviness; 
he is called by the Word, which is the voice ot the great 
Redeemer, to come to him by faith, nothing doubting, and 
the Lord will give him rest, b> remitting all his sins, and 
giving him the witness of reconciliation and the consolation 
ot Christ, with divine love shed abroad in his heart. Yet 
this rest is not so permanent as to be exempt from tribula- 
tion and various perplexities. In this corrupt and unfriend- 
ly world, the best of men must struggle through tribula- 
tion; but in Christ they feel peace. However, there remains 
a rest for the people of God, but not in this polluted world; 
for if the church takes her rest here, she will meet with a 
sore destruction. See Hosea. The Sabbath is a day of rest; 
the new dispensation is a rest from the heavy yoke of the 
former dispensation: but the rest in heaven is free from 
trouble, toil and pain. Friend, let us tear, h st a promise 
being left us of that rest, we should fall short of it, as the 
poor Jews did. When the word was not mixed with faith 
it did not profit. 0, reader, labour hard for the meat that 
endures as long as your lives, and »hen rest forever in 
glory. Remember well that this rest remains fo£ the chil- 
dren of God* and them only. 



47 



CHAPTERS IV, V. VI, VIT, VIII, IX. 

Here the apostle introduces the priesthood of the great 
Redeemer. Reader, here comes on a very great mystery, i 
which we are bound to believe, to wit, A man appeared in 
the days of yore, who dwelt in a place called Salem, wh.ch 
signifies peace. He was a priest and king; his name was 
Melchisedec; the very man who met Abrahams hen he was 
returning from the victory; whom Melchisedec accommo- 
dated with bread and wine; to whom Abraham paid tribute, 
which discovers that Abraham, though a patriarch, was in- 
ferior to this king of righteousness and peace. Melchisedec 
blessed Abraham; therefore the Kss must be blessed of the 
greater. Reader, observe that under the law the Levites 
received tithes from the people; but here it is said they paid 
tithes to this great priest, as being in the loins of Abraham 
at That time. According to this rule perfection was not un- 
der the old school-master, but the new. Thus the man Mel- 
chisedec was made by way of similitude likejmto the Son 
of God, who abideth a priest continually. As it is written, 
Acts viii. S3. w T ho shall declare his generation? so then, 
who shall declare the generation of Melchisedec? If any 
otie can, let him. This Gentile priest was eternally intend-/ 
ed for that purpose, and foretold by the prophet, say ing, 
Thou (Christ) art a priest for ever, after the order of Mel- 
chisedec. Psalm ex. 4. Then, as touching the last eternal 
priesthood, it derived its authority from God direct!) , con- 
firmed by an oath; therefore Jesus having no human father, 
nor with respect to his eternity, no mother; and as touch- 
ing the Levitic al priesthood, no father, no descent, oeither 
the type, nor antetype; therefore, as Christ succeeds in the 
priesthood, it had no beginning of days nor end of life. So 
then, the new priesthood, with its gospel government, re- 
mains unchangeable. From hence the apostle expatiates 
largely; the Jewish priesthood being abolished by the great 
sacrifice of our divine High-priesr, who has gone into the 
holy place, made without hands, eternal yi the heavens; to 
whom we have access by a new and living way, he. The 
latter is called the new covenant, or testament. See the 
ninth chapter, 16, \7. Here it shows that a will is not in 
force until the death of the testator. Then why do men 



48 



presumptuously assert that John the baptist administered 
the christian baptism? 

CHAPTERS X, XI, XII. 

In the tenth chapter, we read of one, saying, as legal 
sacrifices will not answer to take away sin, then said I, 
«• L<>, I come." Verse 5. «• But a body hast thou prepared 
me." Every reader is hereby requested to take the follow- 
ing question into serious consideration, viz. Who is this 
that saith, <* Loj/ come," and «« a body hast thou prepared 
for me* 9 ' Who is this / and me? In chap. x. 20. this pre- 
pared body is said to be a vail, to rover « hate-ver is within 
that vail. Now, reader,' perhaps you will come at it. If 
this vaH be the humanity, that within is, what? is it a hu- 
man soul like Ours, or is if his divinity? Work it. 

There is a doctrine contained in the sixth and tenth chap- 
ters respecting total apostacy: let it be examined. It reads 
as follows: It is impossible for those once enlightened, and 
who have tasted the heavenly gift, the good word of God, 
and the Holy Ghost, yea, felt the powers of the world to 
come; if they fall away it will be impossible to renew them 
again ( he second time) to repentance, &/. ]f we (chris- 
tians) sin wilfully ! f er we have received. the knowledge of 
the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a 
fearful looking for of judgment an*i fiery indignation, which 
shall devour the adversaries If they who despised Moses's 
law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; bow 
shall we, who possess the name, and after that fall away so 
far as to despise his covenant, his laws, his name, and blood* 
ever be renewed, seeing we have despised the blood of the 
covenant, and, as it were, crucified the L -rd afresh, and 
brought a public scandal on Christ's < ause. Notice the cha- 
racter, having received the knowledge of the truth; having 
the understanding thus enlightened, t-he passions so affected 
as to taste the good word, and received the holy Spirit as a 
heavenly gift; moreover, to feel the powers of the world to 
come (being the gospel age), to feel its power as is record- 
ed in the first chapter to the Romans, at th*" 16th verse, I 
am not ashamed of the gospel, seeing it is the power of God 
to salvation — to believers it is impossible to renew a soul 
when the Spirit leaves him. christians of every church, 
suffer not yourselves to be deceived; be not high minded, 



49 

« 

but fear. Let the downfai of the Jews, and members of ru- 
ined christian churches, convince you of the danger of turn- 
ing back to folly, and from that to perdition. If preachers 
will not be saved; let the awful texts, and these friendly lines, 
be seriously noticed by the lay members. 

Chapter x. 24. Let the followers of our Lord pay atten- 
tion to the divine orders, feel for each united member, meet 
together as oft as you conveniently can, and in these select 
meetings converse, sing, and pray. Reader, will you do so? 
Read Malachi, iii. 16, &c. If ye know these things, blessed 
are ye if ye follow and do them. 

Verse 15. Now the man that is justified by faith, he con- 
tinues to keep alive to God by faith, to the saving of his 
soul; but if any one draw back, Christ's soul, or spirit, will 
have no pleasure in him. Never forget this axiom, Faith 
without works is dead. 

Read on about the cloud of witnesses; let us be fully per- 
suaded of the certainty, and put by a|l unnecessary weights, 
and beware of your most besetting siu; if you find your are 
too easily overcome, by it, make no common use of it, at 
yqur_ peril. Had you tried an enemy four times and you 
were overcome each time, would it not be your wisdom to 
let him alone? See verse 9. God is the Father of our 
spirits. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The church is ordered to be subject to the apostles, who 
ruled and governed the churches by their sacred writings, 
which came from God through a pure channel; for they 
had the key of the kingdom; therefore, that which they 
bound on earth, was, and is, bound in heaven. But since 
the apostles, the churches are charged to prove us and t*«ir 
doctrine, and search the royal body of divinity; and all the 
truth to hold fast and improve, but cast the bad away. So far 
as preachers preach and teach the truth, people are bound 
to obey, but no farther, neither their doctrines nor disci- 
pline; else you would be obeying men. 

Pay attention to the eighth vsrse. Jesus Christ, the same 
yesterday, to-day, and for ever; that is to say, the same 
immutable, unalterable; the same before time, in time, and 
for ever* Amen* 



i 



SO 



JAMES, 



The apostle James styles himself a servant of Gou% and 
the Lord Jesus, He mentions God and Christ, himself the 
servant; yet hot one law-giver, iv. 12; and he is able to save 
and to destroy. Read it over again. Therefore, the pure 
apostolic church had no rules to bind her members but 
the holy laws of Christ, recorded in the sacred book. In 
this letter, as first addressed to the Jewish christians, and 
then to the world, he urges the christians to exercise pa- 
tience, yea, let it have its perfect wo r{i. He teaches the 
Lord's people to beware of covetousness, and partiality, by 
honouring the rich and despising the poor; saying, do not 
rich men oppress you, yea, and blaspheme that worthy 
name by which you are called? All who speak insulting 
language against Christ, his church, or the name christian, 
it appears, are guilty of the crime of blasphemy. This se& 
the name of Christ higher than the heavens. The author 
solicits the serious attention of those who falsely call them- 
selves christians (perhaps to keep off reproach), yet deny 
that Christ is their God. Examine, friends, are you not 
bordering on blasphemy? This man of God brings the rich 
| brother and the poor brother to a religious level, by redu- 
cing one and exalting the other. He enforces good works 
as the sure proof of a pure active faith; that we must be 
.doers, as well as hearers, else we (not the devil) deceive 
ourselves. As faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
word of God, and that also through the divine operations 
of the Spirif| but not irresistibly, ministers should be care- 
ful to preach pure doctrine. Corrupt doctrine begets its 
own likeness; and this causes so many faiths, and so little 
pure and undefiled religion; Pure doctrine, from a pure 
heart and a holy life, like an outside garment unspotteci 
from the world; this, and only this, will stand approved 
before God. The gospel law is a «« royal law;" how supe- 
rior to our minister home-made laws. It is a perfect law; 
a holy man obeys it in his soul with delight and perfect de- 
sire; and his infirmities do not condemn, by reason of inter* 
cession. But he that walks by a crooked rule, will never 
make straight paths for his feet, which caiiseth his follow- 
ed to be deemed crooked disciples. The christian govern* 



fgfcnt is the law of liberty, as touching the ceremonial law. 
The tongue is compared to an unruly horse, that must be 
governed by a curb bridle; he that bridleth his tongue, may 
govern the other members. Professors may talk too much, 
when not profitable for body nor soul: sometimes they bless, 
and sometimes they curse, and swear; not after the vulgar 
swearing, but to wish evil on a person is a curse; to bind 
what you report by any thing that is in heaven or on earth 
in common conversation, is swearing; when necessity calls 
for a solemn declaration, or before a magistrate, it is a dif- 
ferent case. 

The apostle utters dreadful woes against the rich oppres- 
sors; as also misers, who hold back from the labourers what 
is their just due; but as the times are precarious, or rather 
dangerous, moreover what cannot be cured we will try to 
endure; therefore the author entreats such characters, if 
they think they are justifiable before God, to contend with 
the inspired apostle, chapter v. The author's friendly coun- 
cil is, gentlemen, God is no respecter of persons, in point 
of equal justice; consider your ways, love your soul, love 
your wives and children, yea, feel for future generations, 
direct your highest rulers to call for all, and collect the 
wisdom of America to form a plan that may destroy none, 
and save our dear nation. Tears are collecting, and the 
author, who is your weeping friend, drops the subject. 



I. PETE B 

Let us now attend to the writings of that great apostle 
and martyr, whose name is Peter. His first general letter, 
^fter his salutation, gives us to understand how election 
cometh, and when. We are elected according to foreknow- 
ledge; first to the Jews in this day; and in the appointed 
time and order of things, many were elected when they 
obeyed the truth, and felt the sanctifying influence of the 
Spirit, and the virtue of the sprinkled blood, with grace, 
peace, &c. This doctrine appears plain and pure. 

Verse 3, &c. The power by which we are born of God, 
is the power of Christ's resurrection; and we are here told 
what a glorious inheritance we are born to, if eur faith 



52 



continues pure, by which we may overcome the world, and 
by the power of grace *e can endure to the end. The apos- 
tle exhorts and comforts the people *f God. 

In the 11th and 12th verses we hear that the Spirit of 
Christ inspired the prophets, as also the apostles. 

Let the 15th verse be observed. Why christians should 
fee holy is, because they are called by the Holy One. 

Reader, do notice the 22d verse. Seeing you have puri- 
fied your souls 1-y obeying the truth, &c. unto unfeigned 
love of the. brethren. Read what follows, and obey. 

In the last verse of this first chapter, we are toldHhat the 
word of the Lord endureth for ever; therefore, keep to the 
sure side, hold to the word for safety as to faith and go- 
vernment. 

The second chapter is plain instruction, as is also the 
third until we come to the 19th verse. The apostle aims to 
establish the christians in the belief, that there is but one 
Hoiy Spirit, but many operations, and these operations are 
from Christ; and it was Christ in the Spirit, that went and 
preached by Noah before the flood, to the wicked souls in 
poison. Christ's was the spirit, and that was the life he laid 
down and took up again. When was this? Perhaps near 
two thousand years before the man Christ was crucified! 
when the long forbearance of God waited in the days of 
Noah. Could those be the predestinated elects, or repro- 
bates, that he bore with so long? That all wicked sinners, 
as touching their souls, are shut up in darkness, under the 
power of sin and unbelief, in the bonds of iniquity, under 
divine sentence of eternal death; and such prisoners, by the 
same divine Spirit that preached by Noah, were preached 
to by Isaiah, xlix. Say to the prisoners, Go forth. Com- 
pare Ixi. 1. ^echariah ix 11, &c. 

The fourth chapter is mostly an exhortation to a self- 
denying, holy life of love, kindness, patience, &c. And if 
they were hated because they loved find bore the name of 
christian, let them not be ashamed, for Christ on your part 
is glorified, and the good Spirit resteth on you. Commit to 
him the keeping of your souls. O, saint and sinner, consi- 
der the 18th verse; read it in the good letter. 

In the fifth and last chapter in the first letter, the apos- 
tle exhorts preachers, under the appellation of elders, as 
ruling, active men, but not lords over God's peoplt. He 
called himself an ^der, and an apostle also; men appoint- 



ed by the mouth of Christ, for great purposes, to whom he 
gave the keys. The apostle spake, nothing about an order; 
of ministers over eiders, now called bishops; such were not 
known during the golden age. It is evident that elders were 
appointed to succeed the apostles as to the care of the 
churches, having the apostles'- writings for their guide, who, 
although dead, yet speak. Prelates who claim preeminence, 
ought to show their scripture authority. Men may, by a 
kind of backward etymology, go on to overseer, and make 
bishop and elder one and the same; but the two orders, one 
over the other, perhaps; none can show from the oracles of 
God. Neither did the apostles give licence to men after 
them to bind God's people with creeds, nor books of disci- 
pline. ... 



) II. PETES. 

The three chapters of the second epistle of Peter, may 
be' illustrated after the following manner. First. Believers 
partake of christian virtues, or godliness, through the re- 
vealed knowledge of him who hath called us to a life of 
virtue, which is a preparative to a state of glory. The pro- 
mises of God, from first to last, are gracious, exceeding 
great, and to the believer's soul precious. The exhortation 
is, add to your faith more of every christian virtue. Ob* 
serve these orders, and such believers shall never fall, but 
live and die in Christ, and be admitted into heaven. This 
is the precious doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. 
Scriptures were wrote by holy men of God, as they w,ere 
moved by divine impulses; but the pure word of prophecy 
is to feel the life, light and power of the word within the 
soul. Reader, observe that. 

In the second chapter we are warned to beware of here* 
sy, which is thought to be a fundamental error, even deny- 
ing the Lord who bought them, to their swift destruction. 
Should they deny his divinity, is that heresy? 

The following part of this second chapter is like unto an 
angry cloud, loaded with awful, jightning and peals of thun- 
der, levelled against backsliders who have forsaken the 
right way. It would have been better for such never to have 



H 

known the way of righteousness. It would require a very 
learned man, to lecture from that chapter and prove the un- 
conditional perseverance of the saints. 

The latter part of this letter speaks of a people, who ex* 
pressed their thoughts that the preachers were trying to 
terrify people about the Lord Jesus's coming to judgment, 
seeing all things continued as they were. They lived in lust 
and wickedness, and hoped he would never come; and oth- 
ers may wish it so. So it was with sinners betore the flood; 
so they did in Sodom, where Lot laboured; so it is now: but 
he will come, and that in flames of fire and vengeance, to 
burn the world he made. He is now carrying on preaching, 
and his spirit is striving, not willing that any should pe- 
rish, but come to repentance. Can he be waiting for the 
non-elect to repent without grace, and he saved from pe- 
rishing without a Saviour? And can the elect be in danger? 
Dear reader, if (hou art a sinner, make no delay, escape 
for thy life; lest you should repent when mercy is clean 
gone. Heap not sin upon sin. The Son of the Blessed is ve- 
ry pitiful; try an humble petition, if you do no more than 
David's prayer, « Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul." 

This new heaven and new earth, wherein dwelleth righte- 
ousness. Here my brother, perhaps, will reject our doctrine, 
by reason it is thought this earth will be renewed, and the 
saints dwell here. O, sirs, this is a time world, and was 
never intended to be converted into a beaven of glory. 
Things that are seen are temporal; but things which are 
not seen are eternal. The bodies of the saints are corrupt 
earth; but in the resurrection they shall have spiritual pure 
bodies, as well as souls. Let us fear and love God, and we 
shall dwell with him far above this middle world. Attend 
to an important question, saying, Seeing all these thingg 
ahaSl be dissolved, what munm r of persons ought ye to be, 
in all holy conversation and godliness? Grace prepare us! 



55 



I. JOHN. 

CHAPTER I. 

Eighteen verses of the first chapter of John's gospel, 
and s^ven verses in this first chapter, are trariscendantly 
glorious, more like the diction of an angel than a man. This 
affords marrow and fatness, milk and honey. The versed 
here mentioned, opens the glorious theology in so pure and 
masterly a light, that, standing on its own foundation and 
clothed in its original dress, it needeth no human aid nor 
hand to support its tremhling ark, and gives defiance to all 
the enemres of Jesus, who try to dethrone him and make 
him Jess than God. Will a man rob God or Christ of his 
Godhead? Satan must know, or might expect, the founda- 
tion stood sure; yet his ambition is such that he repeatedly 
has, and still does, attempt it. Hear the beloved John, say- 
ing, That which was from the beginning, even the eternal 
Word, which was God, and being made flesh, we have seen 
him with our natural eyes, and felt him with our hands; we 
^call it eternal life; which is God, in Esse. And those who 
walk in this truth, which is light, they unite in a body, and 
by virtue of blood and water, they will become sanctified* 
or cleansed from all sin. 

CHAPTER IL 

This chapter is a lively exhortation, in v' , my reader 
will notice three gracious heads of doctrine ~& first, verso 
6th, He that saith he abideth in Christ, as muSands say* 
" Once in Christ, always in Christ." Their assertion can- 
not be received here, without scripture proof; and that proof 
is, they must walk even as Christ walked, who has left us 
precept and example. It will not do to suppose that Christ^ 
holy walk is imputed to believers; but they in their measure 
must track his steps. Friend, do not pass over this with 
indifference. 

Secondly, the apostle informs us of three classes in the 
School of Christ, to wit, new converts, strong believers, 
yea, and njen of deep knowledge and heavenly understand- 



56 



Thirdly, that "those #68 do the will of God, abideth for 
ever. See verse 23d, To deny the Son is denying the Fa« 
ther, by reason they are one. See the 24th verse; He that 
abideth in the Son, abideth in the Father; and 1m that 
abideth in Christ, sinneth not, being led by the Spirit. 

CHAPTERS III, IV, V. 

The remarks on these chapters may be illustrated as fol- 
lows: chap. iii. We are now the sons of God, and what 
we shall be is not fully revealed; but when Christ shall ap- 
pear we shall see bim as he is, and not as he was in the 
dav*- of hi* flesh. There will be no Arians then. Every 
knee shall bow to the. one Lord God. As the saints behold 
him in his glorified state, they will be changed into his 
likeness, in their measure. Compare iv. 17. This will em- 
bolden the saints in the day of judgment, because as he is> 
so are we in this world. Jesus came by blood and water; 
these were the two seals, pointing out the way of justifica- 
tion and sanctification. But outward circumcision was a 
mark of distinction, a figure of spiritual circumcision and 
spiritual baptism. The way to walk safely is to cleave close 
to the weightier points, and not to leave the lesser matters 
undone. Circumcision was the direction of infinite wisdom, 
therefore of divine .authority? and not to be put down by 
jman. Jesus came by blood and water, which answers to 
the fountain opened in the house of David for sin and u it- 
cleanness. Zech. Circumcision in itself was nothing but a 
ftgure; yet the e fleets were very profitable, by reason they 
were in covenant, and. taught by the sacred oracles. So 
baptism is a figure of spir itual baptism, which is essential; 
as Paul observes, where he says, ** one Lord, one faith, one 
baptism." As baptism is a sea! of the new covenant, it must 
of right exist during the gospel dispensation. It began with 
the great national commission, and will endure so long as 
the gospel is preached. If Moses was a type of Christ, and 
men, women and children Mere baptised unto Moses; so-all 
nations, when brought over to ehrisfiaoity, should be bap- 
tised unto Christ. It is highly dangerous Jo abrogate what 
God himself hath appointed. Paul rejoiced that Christ waf 
preacned, though not always frditt pur* motives; yet it held 
vp the name, the only name b 1 w hich souls could be saved. 
The author rejoices to see parents offering up their little 



57 



children to Christ in baptism, whereby they become nation- 
al and nominal christians; and the parents acknowledge 
Christ and hie religion — as the promise is to adults and 
children. 



II. JOHN. 

John wrote to the mother church in Jerusalem, in the 
character of an elect lady, and rejoiced to find of her scat- 
tered converts walking in the truth, or word. He warns 
the lady against deceivers, a,nd their false doctrine. If any 
Vpreacher comes among you, and bringeth not our doctrine, 
receive him not as a preacher, give him no encouragement 
lest you be condemned with him of the evils that may fol- 
low. Therefore, the churches have a right to reject the 
^doctrine, and the preacher whom they collectively judge 
corrupt. 



III. JOHN. 

In this short concluding letter* we will observe in partir 
cular two points. First, those strange travelling ministers, 
that came recommended, how they should be treated, and 
assisted by the. brethren in Jerusalem, seeing they went 
forth, taking --nothing of the Gentiles. Secondly, look in the 
9th verse, and you will see tir read the spirit of a bishop. 
Cri ace to all the precious. 



58 



JUDE. 

Jude addressed himself to the sanctified christians, warn- 
ing rhem to be awake in days that were evil. Satan had 
sent out an army of corrupters: many of these had been 
lights in the church, whom Jude compares to wandering 
stars. He compares them to spots in their communion, feed- 
ing without fear. They did show something like religion, 
but Were clouds without water, carried abo&t with winds of 
doctrine. Trees without fruit, at length dead the second 
time; once quickened, but dead again, plucked up by the 
roots, and finally fallen. Such will show themselves some- 
times by casting up their mire and dirt; like Balaam, of 
like Cain. 

To prove the danger of falling from grace, while in a 
State of probation, he calls our attention to the fallen an- 
gels. As the author expects in a short time to render to bis 
Master an account of his stewardship, from a weighty im- 
pression he gives his advice to young converts; never, O, 
never join a church which believes that converts cannot fi- 
nally fall from their first justification. Yet you are free. 

He exhorts tbe true church, ministers and lay members, 
to contend earnestly for the faith and doctrine as was first 
delivered to the saints — not partial salvation, but common 
and free for all. The brethren were and are directed to 
build up each other in the holy faith, lest they lose the love 
of God out of their souls; also to labour to prevent others 
from falling into those destructive errors, pulling them as 
brands from eternal fire. 

The conclusion of this alarming letter is, that men of 
pure faith hold Jesus and the Father to be one (not them), 
one Lord, who is able to keep us from falling, and will, if _ 
we obey him; for he is the only wise God our Saviour: to 
bim be glory, fcc. &c. for ever. Amen. 



59 



REVELATION!!. 

CHAPTER' I. 

Jokw the holy apostle, who. for the word of divine truth, 
&ml the testimony that he bore, by the authority of the 
prophets and the apostles, respecting the divinity of Jesus 
Christ, suffered persecution and banishment; in which siate 
of exile, Jesus revealed to him visions of himself; and pro* 
phetic views, by striking similitudes, of things that were 
coming to pass until the end of time, ft is a book of visions 
and prophecies respecting the rise and fall of kingdoms and 
of the church. Many things which are here written have 
passed, some are now in operation, and the rest are sure to 
come; but the end is not yet. 

Jesus sent his angel to inform his apostle, and for him to 
deliver the same to the ministers and churches collectively. 
The book is from heaven, the author is Deus, and is from 
the seven spirits, or the absolute perfections of the Most 
High. John bare record of the sacred scriptures, anri the 
testimony of Jesus as the true Messiah, which being under- 
stood is, God with us. He then affirms that those who read, 
hear and obey the word, are and shall be blessed. .Nothing 
less than Christ's blood, through the Spirit, could wash or 
cleanse our polluted souls from sin. Here is love. believ- 
ers, view with deep humility, your exalted station, even 
kings and priests to God. 

As our Lord went up in clouds, so in like manner will he 
return, at the close of time, flis persecutors will feel his 
presence, and mourn when it is too late. A>iten. Even so 
saith the Spirit. Those, visions happened on the Lord's day, 
that first day of the week, in honorable remembrance of his 
resurrection; which all christians ought to keep holy. 

Reader, attend to the testimony of Jesus, and see how 
you understand it. Note, »< I (Jesus) am Alp'oe and Ome- 
gn. the first and the last, who is, who was, and who is to 
come, the Almighty." Almighty is the superlative, even 
Jesus. 

The vision of the seven golden candlesticks, and the high 
priest walking in the midst, shows that Jesus is in the 
midst of every one of his churches upon earth* even if there 



60 



lie but two or three united in his name, as christians. Then 
he must be omniscient to be omnipresent in every church 
at the sa »e instant. 

The vision of his head and hair as white as snow, de- 
notes his purity and eternity; his head is his Godhead, the 
eternal Deus'. His eyes as flames of fire, may show that the 
eyes ot the Lord doth run all over the earth. 2 Chron. xvi. 
9. Rev. i\j 18. His eyes as flames from which nothing can 
be hid. His feet .appeared as melting brass, which may 
show his awful justice, when he stands in judgment on our 
souls. His awful voice was as the roaring of the seas. The 
stars in his right hand, may denote the gospel preachers, 
all workers together with God, in his protecting hand; 
moving together as ruling stars, under the influence and 
order of the Lord; no one star above another in glory: so 
it was in scripture times. Seven stars, seven churches, in- 
cludes all in regular order and succession. 

CHAPTERS II, III. 

Attend to what is said to the church, and churches 
successively, in her revolutions to the end. First, He ap- 
proved of her w»rks, her patience, her labour, her zeal for 
the support of pure doctrine, in trying usurpers and put- 
ting them out of the church; yet he had somewhat against 
her, for she, in general, had left her first love. She is not 
expelled, but laid under censure; but if she does not take 
the reproof and amend, it will come to expulsion. This is 
like falling from grace. 

Secondly, he view's the church in the flames of persecu- 
tion, even in the ten heavy persecutions by the vengeful 
Jews and Roman emperors, called ten days, or ten perse- 
cutions. Christians may be reduced, poor, and still be rich; 
ijo charge against them: for against such as are truly faith- 
ful rhere is no law, but a crown of life prepared. 

He appears to the church sometimes as having a two- 
edged sword, even law and gospel, and if offended will cut 
m asunder. To every church, or the christian church at all 
times in succession, he takes notice of their faith, love, zeal, 
good works, order and discipline; especially in keeping out 
corrupt doctrine, trying innovators, and casting them out 
of the church, by the authority of the divine law, and the 
voice of the church wherein such a minister may labour, or 



their chosen committee, or any lawful way of procedure, 
the minister or ministers, deacons and leading helps among 
the laity, acting under church authority. Had they any 
discipline but the scriptures? 

Kfear, O christians, hear what the Lord saith, the same 
the Holy Ghost saith to the church, when the people had 
the form, the name, but had nearly lost the life and power 
of religion; they were called to awake and be more zealous, 
more spiritual, as the last spark was ready to perish, for 
their works of (aith were not pleasing to God, therefore the 
Spirit was offended; and it that spark perished, they would 
be twice dead; the candlestick removed from that people, as 
in Asia, Africa, Arabia, &c. &c. He views at a time, and 
saith, I would ye were hot for my cause, for my glory; or 
be cold, give it out; J despise lukewarm love; beware, lest 
I cast you out. Is that falling from grace? 0, churches* 
attend. 

Again, thus saith the Lord to the church, when establish- 
ed by the emperor, who made the preachers great men, and 
the churches grew rich, but dim sighted; yet felt themselves 
in no need, when' they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind 
and naked; much like the established church in America 
before our independence. The same spirit is struggling for 
an establishment. Prevent it, Good Lord; and may every 
true follower of Christ who may read these strictures, give 
us their amen. 

Yet the following promises are left for the encourage- 
ment of every sincere soul. But be it remembered, that he 
who endures to the end, the same shall be saved. If but a 
few names in a city, church, or place, though in general 
they were in a decline, yet the few names which had not 
defiled their garments, were accounted worthy to walk with 
Clirist in white. The common people, in church or state, 
are by no means quali6ed to start a reformation. After the 
church changed from the apostolic order, the voice from 
the Master to the aggrieved few, was, and still is, come 
out from among them. 

CHAPTER IV. 

The contents of this chapter, in their simple meaning, 
are hard to understand. John saw in the vision a great 
White throne, when beav«n opened to his view; the rich co- 



62 



lours that appealed 'to adorn .the Judge who sat thereon, 
denoted, his dignify, his riches and supreme excellency. 
The bow denotes the covenant. The order that appeared, 
to represent the necessity of order, as in the old Jerusalem* 
so in the spiritual new Jerusalem. The order of the true 
church is to be fixed according to diuine and heavenly in- 
structions, and not- human and earthly. Thus-saith the 
Lord, My kingdom is fiat of this world. David, by the 
Spirit of Christ saith, Judgment and justice are the sup- 
port of my throne. The Spirit saith the same of his church 
or kingdom below. Isaiah ix. 7. Moreover, John saw the 
new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. 
More than common truth it is, that the proper faith and 
order of the new, church came through a pure channel, and 
that it is corrupted by leading men For certain purposes. 
The lightnings were seemthunderings and voices were 
heard, besides seven lamps like fire were burning, t he 
lightnings, &c. may signify the testaments of God, exhi- 
biting the doctrines of the pure Hery law, and the glorious 
gospel. Be is able to protect his friends, and to -destroy 
his enemies in awful judgments; in a chain of well directed 
providences, opens what was shortly to transpire or come 
to pass; perhaps pointing principally towards poor Jerusa- 
lem. The seven spirits denote that all the divine attributes 
of Deity were in harmony respecting his righteous pro- 
ceedings, 

The appearance of four animals, the first under the si- 
militude of a lion, denoting strength; the second was like 
a calf, with his divided hoof, denoting a clean animal ac- 
cording ^o law; the third had a face like a man, denoting 
human; the last appeared like a strong- pinioned swift-flying 
eagle. This man face, and the flying eagle, denotes an 
evangelist, flying to and fro, preaching the everlasting gos- 
pel. Perhaps the mystery may be applied to the four un- 
daunted evangelists, who were inspired, as if full of light, 
as eyes before* as foreseeing things coming to pass, and 
well understanding the prophecies. And ihey all gave glo* 
ry to him who sar on the throne, which was God in Christ 
and Christ in God. Amen. 



52 



CHAPTERS V, VI, VII.' « 

Gn the fifth chapter we will remark, first, the procla- 
nation, W ho is worthy, or able to open the deep mysteries 
of God sealed op in this book? No one to be found — hot 
Jesus, who was compared to the Lion of the tribe of Judah. 
He is the great prophet, who possessed the seven spirits; 
the infallible teacher. 

Secondly, the Lamb appeared in the vision as newly- 
slain, which shows his precious blrod will' answer for the 
last soul who may be converted on earth, as we!! as for 
Adam in Paradise. And the Lamb appeared with seven 
horns, denoting almighty power; seven eyes, which show 
infinite knowledge. See Zech. iii. K On one stone were 
seven eyes. And John heard aii ceation as it were, give 
glory to God and the Lamb, being we Lord God. 

The sixth chapter seems to revea the secret treasures of 
wrath coming on his murderers. The first vision was a 
white horse, denoting the pure gosp;i living; he that sat on 
him v.as the great King, w ho could save and destroy. The 
red horse denoted dreadful wars, vith Jews and Romans; 
read Josephiss. Then the appearuce of a black horse — O 
hard famine! The pale hor&e appiared, and grim death, 
his rider, &c. 

Behold in a vision the souls of thenartyrs, as it were vision- 
ary, not really but supernatural!) jor as it were, like Abel's 
blood virtually cried, not voca!ly,sayiug as it were, how 
lon^? The answer was, Rest awhie, more of your brethren 
will soon be with you; here are wiite robes prepared for 
you, as the vision testifies. 

The sixth seal opened the appearance like unto the last 
day; the people were terrified as h an earthquake; politi- 
cal and other leading lights fell; dirk horror overpowered 
their souls; in a word, it was th egreat day of wrath on 
those whose ancestors uttered thefoUowing words, " His 
blood be upon us and our chUdred" The Jefcvs and Ro* 
roans united to slay the Lord, frnd toth murdeied his chil- 
dren; and Jesus suffered the Rjimaro to fall on (he Jews, as 
if legions had' come {but of thej burring pit. pie apostle 
had a pleasing view\ which foflowedthe alarm,, which was 
that o{ a company git entcriJ?; into glory, ruh their well 
washed robes on, Unhappy cMnge! 



64 



CHAPTERS VIII, IX. 

Remarks on the eighth chapter beginning with a silence in 
heaven for about half an hour; prayers, incense, smoke, &c. 
may be understood as filloweth: this was the manner of the 
high priest in the old cpurch offering up incense in the holy 
place, about that spacj, at which time the people without 
were praying, and in sveet private devotion; an answer in 
holy zeal like fire wouli come down, and their silence would 
break out in rejoicing. The temple was the heaven. David 
knew it was so when le thus expressed himself, saying* 
*< while 1 was thus mi sing the fire kindled." Christian's 
pan understand it. # 

Then followeth the a >pearance or semblance of approach- 
ing judgments on the er imies of the church. >Vhat follows? 
Wars, tumults, nation against nation, leading men falling 
like stars from the chirch, such as Al ius, false prophets, 
&c. prophetic views of more woes. These points are not 
placed methodically. Jidgments on nations, for national 
crimes, are compared t hail storms, fire; darkness by im- 
postures, called fallen sars; storms on the rivers and seas, 
or the inhabitants thereof. The reader may appeal to uni- 
versal history for particular times and places. 



CHAPMRS IX, X, XI. 



A few remarks, as c 
Leading men in the chui 



itinuing from the eighth chapter, 
h of Judea, were lights compared 
to stars, and the church yas called heaven. The seditious 
army of zelots compare/ to swarms of devouring locusts, 
who rushed in among chose who were shut up, whom 
they plundered, and, likl perished bounds, they fell to kil- 
ling each other, and theKoinans with their battering rams 
without; the woes in Matthew then were fulfilling The 
murderers are represented in their frightful garb. The 
green grass was spared/that were these faithful christians, 
who made their escape it a certain opportunity. 

The tenth chapter slsws the sacred book open, the angel 
standing on the earth id seas, who p renounced the end of 
tne lovely temple. Sewn voices, the whole mind of God, 
uttered something nof allovved to be written, perhaps too 



65 



awful and heavenly to be repeated, like Paul's ascension to 
heaven; what he heard there he never uttered. 

The little book open, is the new dispensation, with good 
news to Jews and Gentiles* sweet to teed on, but a faithful 
preacher will feel many sorrows in his ministry. Then 
they who oppose the g«spel among the Gentiles, it foretold 
bloody persecutions; alter which will follow heavy judg- 
ments, kc, &c. 

The loosing the four evil angels, who were restrained 
from their purpose, were to be let loose, and a dreadful 
army crossed the Euphrates, and fell upon the Romans 
like scorpions, the rear that followed were merciless mur- 
derers, and robbers, &c. Darkness poured out of the pit; 
the greater darkness always the more cruelties; (gramma- 
tical tenses not obligatory in these visions.) In those days 
of darkness, episcopacy existed, and in the sixth century 
Mahomet arose, who charged the christians with idolatry 
tor worshipping Christ; for, saith he, though he be a great 
prophet, he is no God! So, many departed from the faith, 
giving heed to the doctrine of devils. Do not the late doc- 
trine of Aria ns border near upon this? 

The two witnesses in saccloth of sorrow, were the faith- 
ful abettors of the sacred scriptures, old and new; and in 
these awful revolutions the two witnesses appeared as dead; 
were made light of, but they were not buried, and they 
revived again; and do often rise and tali. As they rise a 
glorious prophecy follows, saying, f the kingdoms of this 
world are (and will) become the kingdoms ot our Lord and 
Christ, &c. 

J CHAPTER XII. 

The twelfth chapter tells of persecution, the woman in 
travail, i. e. the church engaged for converts; the man 
child may denote the faithful ministry in succession, pre- 
served under divine protection; her flying to the wilderness 
out of the populous cities from death. Saints shall have 
power in a coming day to subdue al! their enemies. Papal 
aathority from the red dragon's mouth, was sent as a flood 
«k • t v the woman; but civil authority helped her. When 
the devil, who is in the corrupt old church, when he is cast 
into the earth, wo to the wicked, he will cause them to de- 



66 



stroy one the other. The author shall very briefly touch on 
the rest and conclude. 

CHAPTERS XIII— XXI. 

The thirteenth chapter treats on episcopacy full grown, 
with governments and horns of power! This beast lias had 
many wounds; among which, Nepoleon gave him a deep 
wound in the head, but by the help of England it is nearly 
healed! 

The fourteenth foretells what joy the fall of popery will 
afford the Lamb's company. Then, through the fifteenth 
and sixteenth chapters, it shows the vials of wrath that will 
be poured out] Seventeenth and eighteenth tells of the rage 
of antichrist, and the vengeance the enemies will feel, by 
wars and earthquake distresses! Kings falling, others ris- 
ing, &c. 

Reader, stop, and attend to two notable points. Notice 
the royal army, who were led on to victory by the Captain 
of their salvation. Read their character; << called, chosen 
and faithful." These do still constitute the pure invisible, 
church, now in the wilderness, parted about in different 
religious societies. When corrupt mountains fall, popery, 
prelacy and monarchy shall fee no more; all the precious 
will come together, and rally round the royal standard. 
Read the prophet Isaiah, chap. xi. from the 6th verse. This 
happy time is said to be the millennium;; but that Christ 
will come down personally and reign in Jerusalem, appears 
to be the language of a doting clergy, which set Mr. E. Sy 
to dreaming. Much learning makes some men mad. * 

The next remark is noted in the fifteenth chapter, vers), 
1, &c. The victorious array, after a long combat truth gain 1 - 
ed the day. They obtained a complete Victory over the 
beast or pope, over his episcopal image, over every human 
name and human creed. The royal army, as in the vision, 
will make their stand on the pure word of God, clear as 
glass, strong, and deep as eternity, law and gospel mingled 
with fire; they sung to their harps the song of Mos-s and 
the Lamb. Spiritual Babylon, who traded in slaves, m. n 
with souls, is fallen! Merchants looking at a distance, cry- 
ing, alas! 

The nineteenth chapter goes on With rejoicing, as those 
newly married. 



The twentieth chapter shows there is a resurrection fore* 
seen in a vision, perhaps the fulness of the Gentiles and the 
restoration of the Jews, ail in union; which is life from the 
dead. This will be like a new heaven and new earth. The 
general" resurrection will soon follow; but some time after 
Satan has the prison bounds again* 

Friendly reader, attend to the report in chap. xix. from 
the 13th verse. Jesus is called the Word o CM; but he had 
a name that none could read but himself; we may safely 
suppose it is Deus. 

CHAPTER XXII 

This chapter closes the book. Here we should attend to 
two particular points; first, the relation of angels in hea- 
ven, and saints on earth, verse 9. Secondly, the Bible is «he 
sacred rule for angels, and christians on earth, m Them 
which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." An- 
gels all worship Jesus, by reason he is G ;d. 

To conclude, the Lord bids all men to beware of adding 
to his will, or taking a sentence from it, at their peril, 
God protect the truth. Amen. 



/ 






So John the baptist preached, saying, « the kingdom ok ? 
heaven is a* band." That the kingdom of glory is the mo- 
ther of the primitive church below; observe, 

1. My kingdom is not of his world, saith the King: take 
notice. 

2. The new Jerusalem came down from God out of hea- 
ven: so s ith the apostle John. 

3. The laws of the old kingdom were from heaven. See 
D i i. ix. 9. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our 
God, to nik m his laws n Uiich he set before us by his ser- 
vants the prophet*. This is certain. 

Listen. O, listen, and hear what a holy angel just from 
heaven said to John, Rev. xxii. 9. '* I am thy fellow ser- 
vant, and o? thy brethren the prophets, and of them which, 
keep the sayings of this book." We christians have one 
!a* giver, who is able to save, and destroy. James iv. 12. 
We are under the law of Christ. Paul. We establish* the 
law. So then, the true church is an established church by 
law; but the law is. suitable to the church, for it came down 
fom heaven. Add n<>t to the word, says the prophet. 

In the sequel of Paul to the Galatians, he breathes the 
sp rit of a man of God; he exhorts his friends to hold fast, 
and press on. He travails in birtfi a second time for his 
persecutors, with his usual prayer, The grace and love of 
God be with you all. Amen. 



<W*VV\'W\ 



EPHESIANS. 

CHAPTER I. m 

Here the reader will enter into mysteries respecting the 
subject of dilute about foreknowledge, decrees, &c. Be- 
fore the foundation fit' the world he knew his works Known 
unto God are all his works, past, present and future. He 
is not only infinitely wise, but he is wisdom itself; for di- 
vine wisdom is essential to his eternal existence. He must, 
therefore, be possessed of all knowledge, (as we talk) past, 
present and to come; but with him it is all present, by rea- 
son he fills every point in duration. Let David speak * Such 
knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,! cannot at- 



lain it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or flee from 
thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art »here; if 
I make my bed in hell, all thy wrath is there; if. I I *ke the 
wings of the morning and fly to the uttermost parts of the 
earth or sea, thy right hand will hold me. In him we move, 
lie 6eeth through the divisibility of matter. He speaks of 
things before they come to pass, as though they were* He 
eternally saw all the fluctuating scenes of time. He decreed 
to give the ruined world a Saviour, and therefore he is said 
to be a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Accor- 
ding to infinite knowledge, he decreed* predestinated, and 
marked out his generation according to the flesh, which 
fixed the Jtws an elect nation, for the purpose that the eter- 
nal Jesus should be the first born among many bret hren, as 
having the pre-eminence. Thus the Jews (before the G n- 
liles were called) were his people. But the scriptures tore- 
saw *and foretold, that the Gentiles would be in time the 
Lord's elect; therefore the gospel was preached to Abra- 
ham, when his name was enlarged from Ybram to Abra- 
ham, according to his good will and the glorv »t his grace. 
Beware how you draw your calculations from God's fore- 
knowledge, and confound not his foreknow lege with his 
righteous decrees. Justice and judgment supports his 
throne: mercy and truth goes before,. He that believes and 
obeys the truth, will obtain merey; but no people need ever 
expect mercy, sinless they believe, obey, know the truth, 
Sand keep it. 

jrHSod foresaw that the Jews would reject Christ,' but the 
Gentiles would receive him ; therefore, according to his 
knowledge and the people's conduct, so the Lord wisely, 
justly and niercifully 'predetermined* So then, they who 
were not his, became his people, even his elected ecclesia! 
True and righteous "4s he, and so his works must be. The 
natural man, with his innate ideas, argues thus: As God is 
all- wise and all-powerful, why doth he suffej^these evils to 
be done by men? Answer, God is goodness itself, and ab- 
hors moral evils, yet the scripture calls it his long forbear- 
ance, which proves man's freedom beyond contradiction. 
We should endeavour to understand the noble order of our 
creation and first situation. Man was created in the like- 
ness, and holy image of God; and although we have de- 
parted from original order, we retain some likeness of our 
Maker, seeing we arc intelligences* Were God to take 



31 



away our freedom of choice, he would break the order of 
our creation. Were our Lord to act absolutely, there could 
be no use for law and government. Man hath life and 
death set before him; blessing and cursing; and is directed 
to choose liie, but is not forced into God's service. 

CHAPTERS II, III. 

Believers are quickened, who were dead in sin$ were 
these the elect, or reprobates? Jews and Gentiles in Christ 
were all one; built upon the testimony of prophets and 
apostles. The apostle's prayer is, that christians may com- 
prehend what the breadth, length, depth and height of pure 
christian religion is. 

CHAPTER IV. 

First, look at the union which ought to subsist in the 
church of God and Christ, viz. one body, united by one 
Spirit. To illustrate the above assertion, the Spirit that 
thus unites, is the Spirit that enlightens and draws us home 
to God, produceth the new birth, bears witness with the 
believer's spirit, and then seals him. Is this the Spirit of 
God, or the Spirit of Christ? If thou canst, tell. If any 
man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; and as 
many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of 
God: and there is but one Holy Spirit. Doth not the Ari- 
an's faith waver at this stumbling block? The apostle saith, * 
oue faith, that is, one pure faith, looking to Jasus as their 
one Lord God; a faith that works by love, purifies the 
heart, proves itself by a holy obedient life, and overcometh 
the world. This faith is accompanied with a comfortable 
hope- of glory. There is also one baptism. Note; pure faith, 
a reasonable scripture hope, and divine love, are all essen- 
tials; we cannot be saved without these. Now, shall we 
consider water baptism in any mode to be essential? God 
forbid that we should so far be deeejved. Jt is said the bap- 
tists have put away spiritual baptism altogether. 

In this fourth chapter we read of our Lord's ascension 
to the highest heavens (iron* whence he descended), even 
to that exalted state of glory he had before the world was, 
Here men who mean well may stumble-aud be broken, by 
considering the Lord in glory as he was when weeping over, 



Jerusalem in the days of his fi sh. Friendly reader, look 
on the tWo last verses of \ he 24 th Psalm; fail not. 

CHAPTERS V, VI. 

The few remarks necessary to be made on the close of 
thin leUcr may be as follows, with a pressing exhortation 
to be rlose followers of God, as a family ofdear loving chil- 
dren. *Who can show the difference between the followers of 
God and the followers of Christ? 

Mow shall we understand this saying, that he gave him- 
self a sacrifice to God? Reader, take heed how you believe. 
It is written in the scriptures of truth, that Christ was put 
to death in 'he flesh; he bore our sins in his own body on 
the tree. His bodyl Paul? Who was he who g<i\e his body? 
Moreover. Who and where was that God to whom he made 
the sacrifice? Mind, reader, here are holy and interesting 
mysteries. It is written, God was in Christ, reconciling the 
world to himself. 'I bis was the Godhead of Christ, who re- 
conciled the world to himself, by his own body. He pur- 
chased us with his own blood. So it stands unshaken, God 
and Christ are one* in spite of antirhristian heresies. It be- 
hoved Christ to be like unto us men; therefore he possessed 
a body, a soul, which was the Deity or Bivino$ and his 
Spirit was arid is the divine operation, that enlightens and 
quickens the believer's soul. Were bis soul a human soul, 
Us operation would never produce in us the new birth. 
f Read how pure the church must be before she enters into 
glory. No flesh spots; no worldly blemish; no wrirrkles of 
a decay, in the life of religion. Brother, if you believe these 
sacred truths, let us see your faith, &c. 

Mark we|l how the apostle argues relative duties: read 
and obey them. 0, how little these things are regarded. 
* What shall we answer the Judge, when the books are open- 
ed? That duty of masters, servaois, and slaves. If I should 
enter into the subject of slaves, it would swell to a Insiory, 
and would lead me off my subject.. This I will say, we are 
hound to do in every station of life, as we would be d< ne 
by. We have but frw sober minds in America, but sees, 
knows, and feels, that our negro slavery is as far fi<»m 
right, as a banditti of robbers are from bortour and hon##ty. 
But the difficulty lies in the prep' r iijplhod of its x?o'; a- 
♦ton. A christian, <who is merciful to his slaves, perhaps is 



33 . / * ; 

not so criminal as he that is in the spirit of it. If any man 

fctahes to see slavery opened to the h^ht, let him read Tho- 
t^nas Clarks< n\s essay on Slavery. Do read if. 

Paul closes his letter to the Ephesiaus with, Peace he to 
the brethren. 



PHILIPPIANS. 

The Philippians were blessed and orderly christians?, 
•bedient to divine instructions, not only when Paul ||as 
wuh them, but more s<» when he was from them. Their 
faith and virtue was talked of, far and wide-. This was a 
proof that the good Spirit worked in them; their work was 
to act -from those divine impressions, in working out their 
salvation with awe, &c. Some christians say, where God 
begins a good work in the soul, he surely will finish it. 
This leaves the creature nothing to do; but the troth shows 
how man may begin in the Spirit and end m tin .flesh. Oth*. 
ers may apologise, that as they are not religious the> can- 
not begin a work of grace in theh poor dead souls, «n& 
God ha'«h not began it. To this impertinent speech we 'may 
answer, God bus often knocked at your door for entrance, 
but you have refused and quenched the lighf, and resided 
the Holy Spirit. God strives -graciously, but not by f ore. 
What was <ione to the man who received a talent, but ne- 
ver improved it? He was cast into perdition! 

The Philippians were kind to their ministers, who had 
no settled salaries. The conversation of christians should 
be such as adorns their profession. Paul had a desire to de- 
part and be with Christ; which proves that the g6od S' 4 ul ? 
when it departs this life, ascends swiftly to Christ in glory* 
"What a joy it is to holy ministers to see the holy brethren 
growing in grace. There is great consolation in Christ nod 
society; there is great comfort in the life of love and chris- 
tian fellowship. Paul taogjht the brethren to believe tha? »he 
name of Jesus was above every name in heaven and ou 
earth; and. that ail should how the knee and worship toe di- 
vine Saviour, the God Man! 

The apostle warned the former brethren, and he warns 
98, to beware of false teachers. We have the ble*»ed dog- 

» 



trine of perfection wrote by Paul* and the way to attain it. 
First, we must believe in the doctrine, and that we are 
bound to seek after it; -or we shall .'not persevere, and ofc;, 
course must fall hack. The way is. to follow alter higher 
attainments of light, faith and love. But, nevertheless* yojjfc 
must walk by the same rule, mind the same thing, walk by 
faith in a holy obedient hfe. The rule y«>u are to walk by 
is even the word of God. Turn neither to the right, nor to 
the left; 'ponder the path of thy feet, look straight before 
you; and by happy experience you ' will know, that your 
way will shine brighter and brighter to the perfect day. 
Will you seek after [i2 

Paul concluded his letter to his much beloved Philippi- 
ans, as your author does to. his brethren: The grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 



CGLOSSIANS, , 

Colosse was a city of Phrvgia. This church was prin- 
cipally raised under the ministry of Epaphrns, a faithful 
brother, who brought the glad tidings to Paul, who wrote 
to thefc* tins epistle, tn which he styles them saints and 
faithful brethren in Chrisr. They heard, and we have heard, 
in the word of a pure gospel, of the pleasure and treasure 
laid up in heaven for such saints. So Saras * e understand, 
believe, experience and obey * he apostle's writings, so far 
we are authodox christians, independani of human tradi- 
tions, marching on towards- heaven. 

In verses 13, the doctrine of redemption is expresseif- 
in plain language, W> have redemption (how?) through his 
blood, (what Is it?) even the forgiveness of sins! Reader, 
do you untlerstano this? book here, the visible Christ was 
the express image, ia beauty, purity, wisdom and power, 
of the nvisible G ai. fte is called the first-born of every 
creature and the first born fining the oead; here, we sup- 
pose, it allades to the resurrection. See the type in the 
davs erf yore; the first bm n s »n in a family had the pre- 
etui iv nee,, and acted as chaplain in the family.- Esau sold 
bis h i right, and he is cafrlied pr fane Esau! Christ is 
*Jie creator ot the creatures; they were created by him a»4 



35 



for him; and he is before all things. Re was, by divine up* 
pointment, a Lamb slairi from the foundation of the w eld, 
4*w!)H It answered for Adam's justify ation, and of cours* at* 
Toned for the sin of Jhe world. Tin re critiiij be no differ* uce 
%i the unborn race: else Adam's soul .was in part elect, and 
the other part reprobate! Impossible! 

Christ being t he head of his church, therefore as the 
first born, he must have the pre-eminence; for all divine 
fulness was in bins. God railed Ephraim his firsi-uum. 
Jer. xxxi. 9. David is said to be the first-born of kings. 
Psal. Ixviii. 27. The christians we're, and they still are, 
warned to take care of innovations, false doct rines, and vain 
philosophy, which corrupted \hr rjiurcftes. Teachers who 
before were Jews, yet fond of their old ordinances, called 
the rudiments of the old Church, as the first principles at 
the introducing of the gospel; such as. Jewish baptisms, &c. 
Just look, Rom. vi. Jews and Gentiles were fond of old hu- 
man traditions, even from Adam, who told his children, and 
children's children, long before Moses, concerning the fail 
and the promised seed. It went through so many unclean 
hands, that only a few dark ideas of truth remained; but 
they could add, and invent, which the philosophers of dif- 
ferent nations did abundantly. Paul did not condemn true 
philosophy, for his mind was no stranger to it; but vain 
inventions. The philosophers of all nations had their no- 
tions, figures and allegories, concerning the Supreme; in- 
deed they had some dark ideas of what is called a Trinity. 
By viewing the creation, they read the glorious attributes 
of Deus, by w hich they gave names to three inv isible pow- 
ers. To the great power they gave the name of Orotnaz>e$ 9 
Unknown Some of them admitted another great one, who 
was expected as the desire of ail nations, so called. Some 
supposed him to be a God, but not equal; him they called 
Mythras. Some thought Mythras was equal, eternal; oth- 
erssaid no, but the production of his poWer. Others sup- 
posed My thras was a middle God* for feeling, and believed 
, to be an immaterial substance, and also a deity; his name 
was Conductor. Such were their gross absurdities. Others 
Were wicked deceivers, who aimed at the dow nfall of Zion. 
' Our apostle holds up Christ as our only one Lord (prod, and 
we are complete in him. Those who will follow the Gen^ 
tile philosophers before the holy apostles* are as men be* 
witGhedvWWS* 



36 

L^t us endeavour to understand how baptism succeeded 
circumcision. Note, the baptism of John decreased, and di- 
ed at Pentecost; therefore is not the baptism of the n**w tmrn 
tainent saints. Now, as christians, set your affections (H 
things above, where Christ your life is; mortify the remain^ 
of carnal struggling^ We are fighting for life and lib. riy, 
and running for a prize. Keep that in view. 

Look Well to the I6*b verse. See the apostle's rules of 
society, which were ordered to be read in all, the churches. 
These rules we have, and need rjo other. The apostle closes 
his letter with pure instructions and prayer. Amen. 



I. THES3ALONIANS. 

Let us make a few remarks on this first letter. It gives 
thanks to God for the conversion ol so many infidels lr >m 
idolatry to Christianity. The apostle had great faith in that 
people. What a pleasure it is to a minister o? Christ to see 
the Lord's people in sweet fellowship with God and each 
other, walking as becometh the gospel of Christ Paul re- 
ininds them how they laboured with thesii by pare doc- 
trines arftl holy examples, but with om h contention. 

The 14th verse, second chapter, should be noticed. The 
first christian church was planted in Jerusalem; and the 
faith and order ol that church was the pattern for all the 
Gentile churches: for the law went out from Zion, and the 
word from Jerusalem. 

Notice the 13th verse of the second chapter. These peo- 
ple received the word from the letters an*! from the lips of 
the 'preachers, not as the words of man, but as from G id; 
and it had the desired effect. Read it, and try the experi- 
ment. O* what an open, gracious door for sinners, who by 
the sw 7 eet gospel are now invited to. As for christian bfeth- 
ren'b loving each other, they were and are taught of God 
to love one another. Members of churches, how do you feel 
respecting this? 

The sequel of this holy letter is instructive and delight- 
ful. The christian* are told that it was their privilege to 
krep up such a lively witness, that in ail limes of trouble, 
ISrials, sorrows, &c. tue lively hopes of heaven should ena- 



57 

ble them to rejoice evermore, with prayers and thanksgiv- 
ings !<-»■ thib v\i.s and in the will o God. jfc 
. 0. fcro<h< r, hear U*e word of the Lord. First, pay pro**. 
Jcr attention to preaching. Secondly, receive no do< trine 
bu< what is according to godliness; and hold fast what is 
good, Thirdt}, abstain from the appearance of evil; believe # 
and be -sanctified, body, soul, and spirit. The term* are 
lair down; the promise is sure. Good man, proceed accord- 
ingly: and when you attain to it, you will netd no iuterpre- 
tor. The grace of Jesus Christ be with his people. Amen. 

* * 

II. THESSALONfANS. 
* 4Hft 

Remakes on a few cardinal points in these three short 
chapters. First,. Paul speaks well of this church' in both / 
letters; talks of their growing faith, and increasing love. 
Notice these things, christians, it is written to you, and all 
who may follow in succession, unto the end of time. 

The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in a grand 
and awful manner, in flames of fire, taking vengeance on 
those who know not God and obey not the gospel. Ven- 
geance is a just return for mere mockery and slighted mer- 
cy. This just fury will fall on gospel slighters, who despise 
the riches of his grace and his long forbearance. Reader, 
dost thou know G<»d? 

In the second chapter, it appears that some people were 
under an impression that the Lord would shortly appear; 
but the apostle told then*, by the spirit of prophecy, that 
there would be a great falling away of the church be- 
fore that day. Antichrist, the man of sint would be made 
manifest, who should set himself at the bead of Christ's 
church in the pja^efaf God, professing infallibility, grant- 
ing indulgences, forgiving sins, &c. This was the full 
growth of episcopacy: therefore it is well known, that- this 
great falling away of the church was in the days of bishops; 
and the pope in succession is an overgrown bishop, as the 
monstrous shark is the fulness < f the dog fish. Popery hap- ' <.jj# 
pened several centuries after Paul's prophecy. Is all the 
blame to be imputed to the corrupt 'miuis*r\ 5 pr partly to 
4He laitjZ Note, Satan deceived Eve, but she was not there- 




38 



by exempt from punishment; nei her was Adam. The church- 
is ordered not to receive corrupt ministers, nm* heir ri'»c- 
trine. Stand fast, brethren, and withdraw trom » verv bro- 
ther that walketh disorderly, that is. contrar) to our direc- 
tions. The scripture is order. See third chaprer, verse ft. 
Here is discipline. The grace of the Lord be with you. 



I. TIMOTHY. 

w • # 

CHAPTERS I, II. 

Ovu apostle directed and 'besought the itinerant minis- 
ter to abide awhile in Ephesus, and to give the solemn 
charge to preacflers to introduce no new doctrine, but the 
pure gospel as delivered by the apostles, what is called the 
glorious gospel of the blessed God. The»fairhful saying is, 
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Who- 
is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God? 
It is the Lord Jesus. young men, called to the great 
work, war a good warfare: hold faith and a good conscience. 
This constitutes a christian; and the same can beheld fast, 
or be put away, as some, had done in the apostle's day. Dear 
preachers, keep a single eye, fight manful! v, steer carefully. 
It is the will of God that the church should pray for all peo- 
ple, for all sorts and conditions of men; by reason, the Lord 
willeth all men to be saved, but not. out of order. The Lord 
willeth that godly women should dress in modest apparel, 
modest, looks; not with proud dressed hair, nor gold, nor 
costly array. A woman is not to assume the place of a pub- 
lic teacher, whi^h is the elder's station. otwithstanding 
she was the first sinner, and must pass through great bit- 
terness in bearing children, God will- sAVe her in her deep 
distress, if -she continues in the faith*and lives a sober and 
holy life. 

" CHAPTERS III, IV. 

If a man, a preacher, desires the office of an elder in the 
church from pure motives, he desireth a good work. Read 
his character. An office above a bresbyter was not known 
in those days, though some translators choose to call the 



39 



eiders by that.iMtme sometimes for their purpose,* they ap- 
pe; r< t! after the golden days; but bishop and elder were alt 
one. Elders should bear a spotless, character, and be re- 
con ntended by the church, because the church can receives 
or r eject preachers, and those men must be in credit among 
respec table men without. Then let such be proved some 
time, as a preacher and christian, before ordination; let 
him arrive to a degree of knowledge above a novice, lest he 
be taken in the snare that the devil lays for preachers. 

Then comes on the order of deacons. This is an honor- 
able office, when properly elected by the laity , that is to 
say the church, and set apart by the hands of the presby- 
tery, to act in the temporalities of the church, which re- 
quires holy honest men. When God calls a deacon to the 
ministry, let the people select another to act in his place. 
Let it be observed, that elders and deacons both act as stew- 
ards; and it is required of stewards to be faithful, 

The 1 6t h verse oi the third chapter points out one of the 
greatest mysteries in the sacred records, viz. That the eter- 
nal God was declared, revealed to view, made manifest iii 
the flesh as a person called Jesus Christ! It is the same as* 
Emanuel, i. e. God with us. Lei the reader dare to believe 
what his reason < annot fully comprehend. 

The fourth chapter shows, from a former prophecy, the 
danger of departing from the pure faith, as foretold would 
come to pass in the latter day: which may be traced in the 
rise and progress of episcopacy, wirh the addition of human 
rules added to the sacred word; which corruption grew up 
to popery* as is well known; which opened a door for the 
man of sin, the great impostor, and also for the heretic 
At -ius, &r. I o deny the full divinity of Christ, is to destroy 
the atonement; arid that overt urns redemption through his- 
blood, even the forgiveness pi sins! Such doctrine is he- 
reby, or in plain terms, we judge it «« the doctrine of de- 
*il»!" 

•Mt^f • '•• " j;1 ; ..• ■ i ■ ■ '-'t>' i*. ■ 

CHAPTERS IY, V, Vf. 

The churches were troubled with vain disputers, of whtcfc 
the ministry is warned to take care, but cleave to the pure 
word, read, believe, obey, and teach it; and thereby, 
through grace 9 ministers may be saved? with their obedient 
hearers* 



40 



In the fifth chapter, the i^isfian ministers are directed 

how to conduct I hem.-? !v s towards one another* and to all 
in n. The aged and v >un ;. I he elders in age and the eldej-a 
in :ffi: e, the young ministers inust reprove where they see 
cause; oh! in this rhey must act just as the apostle directs; 
read it wish due reverence and obedience. 

The cbnn. hes n »w are not burdened with widows, as in 
those former days; so we. may pass that over. Christians 
are bound by the gospel faith, to endeavour to provide for 
their families. 

Chap. v. 10. Observe, pious old widows did wash the 
traveller's feet, who had walked through the scorching 
sand* with it is sandals • n. Strange that men of understand- 
ing should adoj): this as one of the ordinances of Christ's 
euurch] Our Lord condescended to wash the disciples' feet; 
thv cause way be understood as follows: First, it may teach 
ministers to act as servants, and not as lords over his peo- 
ple. Secondly, this may serve as a sample, for his people to 
show kindness one to another. Thirdly, it may answer as 
a figure of having our souls cleansed through the word. 
Finally, as water is only a figure, a small quantity is cq s al 
to much. 

In the 1 7th verse, &c. we find a subject not well under- 
stood by us all, to wit, these two kinds of elders. We can- 
not find in the good book that.the presbytery ever ordained 
any men by the imposition or hands* but elders and deacons; 
y«et there were chief or principal men among th** brethren, 
that is to say, among the lay members, to act and do busi- 
ness, called » helps," &c. leaders, yea, useful men. See 
Acts xv. 22, 23. From the best information we ever had, 
the elders there mentioned both grew out of the same root, 
viz. senior., elder;. seniority, eldership, elders by age, and 
eiders by office. Old des late men. it seems, were support- 
ed out of the common stock; hut labo >r ng elders especial- 
ly, who have given themselves up to the work, let them not 
suffe*; muzzle not the ex that treadeth out the p >rn. But 
is there no provision made for the bishop? JSo! The way 
ministers were supported after their first publi* funds were 
exhausted, it appears, was by free donations: no law com- 
pulsion. The ministers had to learn contentment, even in 
adversity. 

Towards the close of this chapter the apostle saith, be 
eareful against partiality, and against hasty ordination. 



41 



Ministers were to ordain elders; but where is it written that 
elders were directed to ordain bishops over elders? The 
fountain cannot rise higher than the stream. Look over 
this thrice, then draw thy conclusion; which will be found 
thus, Apostle, Elder, and Deacon, whose office was to see 
about the temporalities of the church. Those deacons were 
the choice of the lay members, but ordained by the imposi- 
tion of hands* Reader, notice; you read of bishop and dea- 
con; but bishop, elder and deacon you never read ot in the 
word. Here lies the priestcraft, as it is called. 

The close of the third chapter gives a solemn charge to 
the ministers, how to behave themselves in the house of 
God, and how to preach Christ, even God, openly and 
plainly manifest in the flesh. If God be in the flesh of 
Christ, that flesh must be divine! Look at this again. 

CHAPTERS IV, V, VI. 

The fourth chapter speaks prophetically of the mystery 
of iniquity, or the dreadful apostary, in the departure of 
the church from the pure faith that was once delivered to 
the saints, which terminated in popery; the same issued 
from its root, episcopac), as is well known; and if its root 
be unholy, so are its branches. 

We enter the sixth chapter, and lo, it speaks of servants^ 
under the yoke, whether voluntary or by compulsion, if it 
be the law of the land, let the servants be subject, and not 
be guilty of sedition; and such as are deprived of their na- 
tural right, and hired servants whose wages are kept back, 
vengeance will be taken in some wa>, on the soul or body, 
except repentance prevent. An ignorant and inferior class 
of people are not the men to revolutionise a nation; and 
therefore, christian ministers will always teach servants or 
slaves to be subject, until Providence shall open a door 
whereby they mav walk out in credit and safety. 

The inspired Paul testifies that the love of money is the 
root, or main root, of all evil. The interpretation may be 
thus understood: The heart that is enveloped in the love of 
this world, and as money answers to the acquiring what 
the woijld can afford to the satisfaction of the flesh, therefore 
it is idolatry; and where the love of the world is rooted in 
the heart and affections, there the love of God is not. And 
as the love of God is the root of all good in a believer's 



heart, as it is indeed the very nattu e of God, arid draws his 
affections to things above, whereas the man of this world 
sets his affections on things below, therefore there is form- 
ed a striking contrast. 0, man of God, liee these things, 
fight on, run and seize eternal life. 

Chap. vi. 12, 13, 14. Here stands on record an awful, 
solemn charge on the ministers of the gospel, that they keep 
the holy commandment without spot, in regular succession, 
until the Master shall come. Verses 15, 16. Who is this 
great Potentate? Blessed, yea, King of kings, Lord of lords, 
yea, ihe only Potentate, who only hath immortality; who 
dwelieth in light that is not accessible to man, therefore it 
must be eternal increated light; he whom no man can see: 
to him be honour and power everlasting. Amen. The 14th 
and 15th verses testifies that this distinguished being is Je- 
sus Christ; and if so, if h be .not God Amigbty, there can 
be no God. When tbjs glory is revealed. Arius will shud- 
der. See iv. 15, 16. The scriptures are full arid complete, 



w%.vwvv*» 



II. TIMOTHY. 

This letter abounds with excellent instructions to young 
Timothy,' and all gospel preachers in succession. If Timo- 
thy had not the' advantage of a classical education, he had 
the advantage of a religious education, by the precedency 
of his pious mothers, who taught him to read and under- 
stand the holy scriptures, a b^ok but little used in our great 
schools. Alas! it is not strange that so many deists should 
issue out of colleges. 

Ministers are charged to hold sound doctrine, with faith, 
and love. 

About this time there was a dreadful apostacy in Asia, 
occasioned by two preachers, who are named. 

Verse 10. Paul declares his sufferings for the elect's sake, 
that they may obtain eternal sanation in glory. Thus it 
appears that the elect have no absolute assurance until they 
die in the Lord; but they possess a delightful hope in this 
life; and if faithful, no dowbt faithful is he that promises* 
and will do it, 



43 



Young ministers have to study, pray, learn and improve 
on pits anl grace, unt I they become workmen who need 
not be Shamed, rightly diving the word of truth, in specu- 
lative, experimental andfnartieal divinity; not always lead- 
ing the sheep with milk, nor building up the church with a 
long-since finished salvation. 

Header, take notice; if we christians*deny Christ, he will 
also deny us. Those who deny his God-head, indirectly de- 
ny him. God may wink at ignorance. 

See verse 18, &c. To deny the resurrection of the b *dy, 
is a fundamental error. 

Chap. ii. 19. Observe, in scripture times the fidlowers of 
Christ were called Christ fans', which is a sacred name; there- 
fore, those who name that name should abstain from the ap- 
pearance of evil. 

The religion of Christ is a revealed religion; we must all 
be taught of God. Man may be always learning, but never 
know the truth. Timothy's learning came through a pure 
channel, even by the letter and spirit of the gospel. 

Chap. iv. 7, 8. We read the apostle's late testimony* that 
he had fought a good fight, finished ins course, and kept 
the faith; wherefore he had no doubt of hn crown. The 
same is appointed for all who love the Lord's appearing. 
Reader, do you long to see. him? 

Friendly reader, you will see a solitary paragraph, after 
you finish the letter, respecting Timothy being the first or- 
dained bishop, meaning an elder over eid'i-r. I hope you 
will not believe it, as not being wrote by the apostle. Be 
not offended. Ask the Greek scholar. 



wvvwwv 



TITUS. 

This short letter is not very mysterious, or hard to un- 
derstand. This young man was converted under the mini-try 
of Pwnl, and soon commenced an itinerant minister, in obedi- 
ence to the commandment of God the Saviour. Therefore, 
Christ in God. is our Saviour. God out of Christ will save 
none: he is a* flames of fire; it would he a fearful 'hing to 
fall into his hands. And Christ out of God can save none. 



44 



Therefore, as God hath joined both in one, let no man di- 
vide. In t>u» Lord's coat there was no seam. 

Titus was left awhile n> Crete, to put things in order, as 
directed by the apostle. He who^s calleu elder in the 5th 
verse., is called bishop in she 7th; thus you see they are not 
two orders. The making two orders ot ministers, bishop 
over elder, is not ot God; nor was the thing knowu when 
the c hurch was under scripture government. 

In the second chapter, we read of grace appearing, in the 
letter and by the spirit; and that is the grace producing sal- 
vation, tor that teacheth every one to reform, come to, and 
follow the light; which men refuse to do, therefore, neg- 
lect the great salvation; then how shall they escape divine 
wrath? 

In Hie fourth chapter, God is called our kind Saviour. 

Look at chap. is. 14, &o. and pray tor a redemption that 
purities from all outward and secret faults; that we may be 
God's peculiar people. 0, listen, •* Be ye holy, for 1 am 
lioly." 

Chap. iii. 10, Here the. church is directed how to treat 
the man that is a heretic. What shall we count heresy? To 
deny the Lord that bought us, is damnable heresy; and to 
own him as inferior to God, is very much like unto heresy. 
Reformed churches generally believe, that Arius and such 
like were surely heretics. Jews and philosophers corrupt- 
ed the churches with fables and human commandments. 

The letter to Titus concludes with love and prayer; but 
the solitary paragraph that appears, saying, Titus was first 
bishop of such a church, believe it not; it is not scripture, 

4MWVWUWW\ 

PHILEMON. 

FnttEMosr was a dear christian brother, and friend to 
Paul. Onesimus absconded, or ran away in debt to his mas- 
ter. This servant was not in a state of involuntary slavery, 
as your black slaves are. This runaway seemed to be di- 
rected by Providence, that he heard Paul preach Jesus; he 
received the truth, and became a convert. The apostle ad- 
vised him to return to his master* and take this letter with 
him, &c. &c» 



45 



HEBB EWE 

CHAPTER I. 

The apostle introduces this letter, by pointing out the 
seve ral ways in which the Lord former)}- spake to ins ser- 
vants; but at length God spake*t6 the world, both Jews and 
Gentjes, by the Lord; he spake by him who made all things; 
to whom he says, Thy throne, .God, &c. Jesus the Son 
was the brightness of the Father's glory. He formerly 
spake by Isaiah, the prophet, saying. •* Lo, I come." This, 
was Jesus, the Word, who came in a stream of emanation, 
even in streams of bright glory, from the bosom of the eter- 
nal Mind; who became clothed with a pure body of flesh, 
which was the Word made flesh, and was both human and 
divine. As the pure body grew up to perfect man, his Esse, 
or divine Soul, w hich was the eternal Life, by which the 
body existed, it filled up until the fulness of the Godhead 
was in the possession of the body of Christ bodily, and 
thiifc he became perfect God and man in one person. The 
Lord's Chrjsi is Jehovah's person, and is the holy express 
image ol Deity, all one incarnate. All that one hath the 
other is in possession of. 

CHAPTERS II, III, IV. 

Thus for a gracious purpose Jesus was made, or placed, 
in a state somewhat lower than the angels, for the purpose 
ot redeeming a lost people by a painful and shameful death; 
and he, by the divine will and favour, tasted death for eve- 
ry man, to deliver them from the power of Satan and the 
slavish fear of death; and thus he condescended to sing 
pr aises in the midst of the church. Dear people, who en- 
joy such great liberties as the American citizens do, how 
will you escape eternal misery if you make light of so great 
salvation? It behoved Christ to be like unto his people, that 
he might be our merciful high-priest in things pertaining 
to God, respecting a reconciliation. 

In the third chapter, there is a similitude drawn between 
Mo^'S and the divine Saviour. "Moses was charged to build 
the former church* called a house* exactly by the pattern 



46 



showed him on the mount. So Moses built the house, and 
acted in it according to the word, as a servant; but Christ 
built the new church according to the heavenly house above, 
and became master of it. The kingdom above is governed 
by the word of God, a^ recorded below, if an angel can be 
depended on, who said to John, 1 am thy fellow servant, 
and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus, and 
those who keep the sayings of this book. Rrv.xxti. 8. The 
church in heaven and the church on earth are established 
on justice and judgment. Psalm Ixxxix. Isaiah ix. Juse- 
phus called the scripture government a theocracy. 

Here follows an exhortation that christians should be 
careful to guard against a hard heart, nor cast away their 
confidence, to beware of presumption and despair; lest they 
should fall as the Jews did. The danger of departing from 
the living God, is seen in the 12th verse. 

The fourth chapter treats on the doctrine of the believers 
rest. &est is desirable only to the weary. The penitent 
burdened soul, who discovers no human probability to es- 
cape the pains of hell, his soul feels trouble and heaviness; 
he is called by the Word, which is the voice oi the great 
Redeemer, to come to hirn by faith, nothing doubting, and 
the Lord will give him rest, by remitting all his sins, and 
giving him the witness of reconciliation and the consolation 
of Christ, with divine love shed abroad in his heart. Yet 
this rest is not so permanent as to be exempt from tribula- 
tion and various perplexities. In this corrupt and unfriend- 
ly world, the best of men must struggle through tribula- 
tion; but in Christ they f^e! peace. However, tin re remains 
a rest for the people of God, but not in this polluted world; 
for if the church takes her rest here, she u ill meet with a 
sore destruction. See Hosea. The Sabbath is a day of i esr; 
the new dispensation is a rest from the heavy yoke of the 
former dispensation: hut the rest in heaven is free from 
trouble, toil and pain. Friend, let us fear, lest a promise 
being left us of that rest, we should fall short of it, as the 
poor Jews did. When the word was not mixed with faith 
it did not profit. O, reader, labour hard for the meat that 
endures as long as your lives, and then rest for ever in 
glory. Remember well that this rest remains for the ckil- 
dren of God, and them only. 



47 



|f ■'' CHAPTERS IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX. 

Here the apostle introduces the priesthood of the great 
Redeemer. Reader, here comes on a very great mystery, 
which we are hound to believe, to wit, A man appeared in 
the days of yore, who dwelt in a place called Salem, which 
signifies peace. He was a priest and king; his name was 
MHchisedec: the very man who met Abraham when he was 
returning from the victory; whom Melehisedec accommo- 
dated wit h bread and wine; to whom Abraham paid tribute, 
which discovers tfiat Abraham, though a patriarch, was in- 
ferior to this king of righteousness and peace. Melehisedec 
blessed Abraham; therefore the less must be blessed of the 
greater. Reader, observe that under the law the Levites 
received til lies from the people; but here it is said they paid 
tithes to this grerft priest, as being in the loins of Abraham 
at that time. According to this rule perfection was not un- 
der the old school-master, but the new. Thus the man Mel- 
ehisedec was made by way of similitude like unto the Son 
of God, who abideth a priest continually. As it is written, 
Acts viii. 33. who shall declare his generation? so trien, 
who shall declare the generation of Melehisedec? If any 
one can, let him. This Gentile priest was eternally intend- 
ed far that purpose, and foretold by the prophet, saying, 
Thou (Chris ) art a priest for ever, after the order of Mel- 
ehisedec. Psalm ex. 4. Then, as touching the last eternal 
priesthood, it derived its authority from God directly, con- 
firmed by an oath; therefor** Jesus having no human father, 
nor with respect to his eternity, no mother; and as touch- 
ing the Levitical priesthood, no father, no descent, neither 
the type, nor antetype; therefore, as Christ succeeds in the 
priesthood, ii had no beginning of. days nor end of life. So 
then, the new priesthood, with its gospel government, re- 
mains unchangeable. From hence the apostle expatiates 
largely; the Jewish priesthood being abolished by the great 
sacrifice of our divine High priest, who has gone into the 
holy place, made witfiout hands, eternal in the heavens; to 
whom we have access by a new and living way, &c. The 
latter is called the new covenant, or testament. See the 
ninth chapter, 16, 17. Here it shows that a will is not in 
force until the death of the testator. Then why do men 



43 



presumptuously assert that John the baptist administered 

the christian baptism? 

CHAPTERS X, Xl, XII. 

In the tenth chapter, we read of one, saying, as legal 
sacrifices will not answer to take away sin, then said I, 
*» li'u I come." Verse 5* »« But a body hast thou prepared 
me." Every reader is hereby requested to take the follow- 
ing question into serious consideration, viz. Who is this 
that saith, " Lo, /come," and «< a body hast thou prepared 
for me." Who is this / and me? In chap. x. 20. this pre- 
pared body is said to be a vail, to cover whatever is within 
that vail. Now, reader, perhaps you will come at it. If 
this vail be the humanity, that within is, what? Is it a hu- 
man soul like ours, or is it his divinity? Work it. 

There is a doctrine contained in the sixth and tenth chap- 
ters respecting total apostacy: let it be examined. It reads 
as follows: It is impossible for those once enlightened, and 
who have tasted the heavenly gift, the good word of God, 
and the Holy Ghost., yea, felt the powers of the world to 
come; if they fall away it will be impossible to renew them 
again (the second time) to repentance, &c. If we (chris- 
tians) sin wilfully rfrer we have received the knowledge of 
the troth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a 
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which 
shall devour the adversaries If they who despised Moses's 
law died without mercy under two or three witnesses; how 
shall we, who possess the name, and after that fall away se 
far as to despise his covenant, his laws, his name, and blood, 
ever be renewed, seeing we have despised the blood of the 
covenant, and, as it were, crucified the L *rd afresh, and 
brought a public scandal on Christ's cause. Notice the cha- 
racter, having received the knowledge of the truth; having 
the understanding thus enlightened, the passions so affected 
as to taste the good word, and received the holy Spirit as a 
heavenly gift; moreover, to feel the powers of the world to 
come (being the gospel age), to feel its power as is record- 
ed in the first chapter to tlx 1 Romans, at the 16th verse, I 
am not ashamed of the gospel, seeing it is the power of God 
to salvation— to believers it is impossible to renew a soul 
when the Spirit leaves him. O, christians of every church, 
suffer not yourselves to be deceived; be not high-minded, 



49 



Jbut fear. Let the downfal of the Jews, and members of ru- 
irked christian churches, convince you of the danger of turn- 
ing hack to folly, and from that to perdition. If preachers 
will not be saved; let the awful texts, and these friendly lines* 
be seriously noticed by the lay members. 

Chapter x. 24. Let the followers of our Lord pay atten- 
tion to the divine orders, feel for each united member, meet 
together as oft as you conveniently can, and in these select 
meetings converse, sing, and pray. Reader, will you do so? 
Read Malachi, iii. 16, &c. If ye know these things, blessed 
are ye if ye follow and do them. 

Verse l3. Now the man that is justified by faith, he con- 
tinues to keep alive to God by faith, to the saving of his 
soul; but if any one draw back, Christ's soul, or spirit, will 
have no pleasure in him. Never forget this axiom, Faith 
without works is dead. 

Read on about the cloud of witnesses; let us be fully per- 
suaded of the certainty, and put by all unnecessary weights, 
and beware oi your most besetting sin; if you find your are 
too easily overcome by it, make no common use of it, at 
your peril. Had you tried an enemy lour times and you 
were overcome each time, would it not be your wisdom to 
let him alone? See verse 9. God is the Father of our 
spirits. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The church is ordered to be subject to the apostles, who 
ruled and governed the churches by their sacred writings, 
which came from God through a pure channel; for they 
had the key of the kingdom; therefore, that which they 
bound on earth, was, and is, bound in heaven. But since 
the apostles, the churches are charged to prove us and our 
doctrine, and search the royal body of divinity; and all the 
truth to hold fast and improve, but cast the bad away. So far 
as preachers preach and teach the truth, people ar* bound 
to obey, but no farther, neither their doctrines nor disci- 
pline; else you would be obeying men. 

Pay attention to the eighth verse. Jesus Christ, the same 
yesterday, to-day, and for ever; that is to say, the same 
immutable, unalterable; the same before time-, in time, and 
for ever. Amen. 



JAMES. 



The apostle James styles himself a servant of God, and 
the Lord Jesus. He mention* God and Christ, himself the 
Servant; yet but one law-giver, iv. 12; and he is able to save 
and to destroy. Read it over again. Therefore, the pure 
apostolic church had no rules to bind her members but 
the holy laws of Christ, recorded in the sacred book. In 
this letter, as first addressed to the Jewish christians, and 
then to the world, he urges the christians to exercise pa- 
tience, yea, let it have its perfect work. He teaches the 
Lord's people to beware of covetousness, and partiality, by 
honouring the rich and despising the poor; saying, do not 
rich men oppress you, yea, and blaspheme that worthy 
name by which you are called? All who speak insulting 
language against Christ, his church, or the name christian, 
it appears, are guilty of the crime of blasphemy. Thi^ sets 
the name of Christ higher than the heavens. The author 
solicits the serious attention of those who falsely call them- 
selves christians (perhaps to keep off reproach), yet deny 
that Christ is their God. Examine, friends, are you not 
bordering on blasphemy? This man of God brings the rich 
brother and the poor brother to a religious level, by redu- 
cing one and exalting the other. He enforces good works 
as the sure proof of a pure active faith; that we must be 
doers, as well as hearers, else we (not the devil) deceive 
ourselves. As faith Cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
Word of God, and that also through the divine operations 
of the Spirit; but not irresistibly, ministers should be care* 
ful to preach pure doctrine. Corrupt doctrine begets its 
own likeness; and this causes so many faiths, and so little 
pure and undr filed religion. Pure doctrine, from a pure 
heart and a holy life, Tike an outside garment unspotted 
from the world; this, and only this, will stand approved 
before God. The gospel law is a " royal law;" how supe- 
rior to our minister home-madf law*. It is a perfect law; 
a holy roan obeys it in his soul with delight and perfect de- 
sire; and his infirmities do not condemn, by reason of inter- 
cession. But he that walks by a crooked rule, will never 
make straight paths for his feet, which causeth his follow- 
ers to be deemed crooked disciples. The christian govern- 



51 

men* is the law of liberty, as touching the ceremonial taw. 

The tongue is compare*! to an unruly horse, that must be 
governed by a curb bridle; he that hridleth his tongue, may 
govern the other members. Professors may talk too much, 
when not profitable for body nor soul: sometimes they bless, 
and sometimes they curse, and swear; not after the vulgar 
swearing, but to wish evil on a person is a curse; to bind 
what you report by any thing that is in heaven or on earth 
in common conversation, is swearing; when necessity calls 
for a solemn declaration, or before a magistrate, it is a dif- 
ferent case. 

The apostle utters dreadful woes against the rich oppres- 
sors; as also misers, who hold back from the labourers what 
is their just due; but as the times are precarious, or rather 
dangerous, moreover what cannot be cured we will try to 
endure; therefore the author entreats such characters, if 
they think they are justifiable before God, to contend with 
the inspired apostle, chapter v. The author's friendly coun- 
cil is, gentlemen, God is no respecter of persons, in point 
of equal justice; consider your ways, love your soul, love 
your wives and children, yea, feel for future generations, 
direct your highest rulers to call for all, and collect the 
wisdom of America to form a plan that may destroy none, 
and save our dear nation. Tears are collecting, and the 
author, who is your weeping friend, drops the subject. 



I. PETER. 

Let us now attend to the writings of that great apostle 
and martyr, whose name is Peter. His first general letter, 
after his salutation, gives us to understand how election 
cometh, and when. We are elected according to foreknow- 
ledge; first to the Jews in this day; and in the appointed 
time and order of things, many were elected when they 
obeyed the truth, and felt the sanctifying influence of the 
Spirit, and the virtue of the sprinkled blood, w ith grace, 
peace, &c. This doctrine appears plain and pure. 

V>rse 3, &c. The power by which we are born of. God, 
is the power of Christ's resurrection; and we are here told 
what a glorious inheritance we are bora to, if our faith 



a 1 1L 

continues pWb* hy which' we may overcome the world, 
by tV power* of grace *e can endure to the end. The apos- 
tle exhorts and comforts the people of God. 

In the lith and 12th verses we hear that the Spirit of 
Christ inspired the prophets, as also the apostles. 

Let the 15th verse he observed. Why christians should 
he holy is, because they are called by the Holy One. 

Reader, do notice the 22d verse. Seeing you have puri- 
fied your souls by obeying the truth, &c. unto unfeigned 
love of the brethren. Read what follows, and obey. 

In the last verse of this first chapter, we are told that the 
word of the Lord endureth for ever; therefore, keep to the 
sure side, hold to the word for safety as to faith and go- 
vernment. 

The second chapter is plain instruction, as is also the 
third until we come to the 1 9th verse. The apostle aims to 
establish the christians in the belief, thatr there is but one 
Holy Spirit, but many operations, and these operations are 
fr«»m Christ; and it was Christ in the Spirit, that went and 
preached by Noah before the flood, to the wicked souls in 
prison. Christ's was the spirit, and that was the life he laid 
down and took up again. When was this? Perhaps near 
two thousand years before the man Christ was crucified; 
when the long forbearance of God waited in the days of 
Noah. Could those be the predestinated elects, or repro- 
bates, that he bore with so long? That all kicked sinners, 
as touching their souls, are shut up in darkness, under the 
power of sin and unbelief, in the bonds of iniquity, under 
divine sentence of eternal death; and such prisoners, by .he 
same divine Spirit that preached by Noah, were preached 
to by Isaiah, xlix. Say to the prisoners, Go forth. Com- 
pare Jxi. 1. Zechariah ix 11, &c. 

The fourth chapter is mostly an exhortation to a self- 
denying, holy life of love, kindness,, patience, &c. And if 
they were hated because they loved and bore the name of 
christian, let them not be ashamed, for Christ on your part 
is glorified, and the good Spirit resteth on you. Commit to 
Lim the keeping of your soul**. O, saint and sinner, consi- 
der the 18th verse; read it in the good letter. 

In the fifth and last chapter in the first letter, the apos- 
tle exhorts preachers, under the appellation of elders, as 
ruling, active men, but not lords over God's people. He 
called himself an e'der, and an apostle also; men appoint-